Toni Erdmann
Toni Erdmann

Germany has picked Maren Ade’s dark comedy Toni Erdmann as the country’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Academy Awards.

The decision was announced by an independent jury on Thursday

The third film from German writer/director Maren Ade (Everyone Else, MIFF 2009) is a dysfunctional father/daughter portrait quite unlike any other: equal parts screwball and sublime, it’s the kind of breathless filmmaking that galvanises even the hardest of cynics.

Divorced, middle-aged music teacher Winfried decides to visit his stuffy, corporate daughter Ines, hoping to reconnect with her via his arsenal of eccentric practical jokes. To do so he turns himself into “Toni Erdmann” – his first name inspired by Ade’s love for Andy Kaufman’s alter ego, Tony Clifton – a self-styled “consultant and coach” complete with fright wig and fake teeth. What follows almost defies simple description, as father/daughter animosity reaches absurd heights and Ade’s brilliantly executed masterpiece effortlessly builds to an emotional catharsis that left Cannes critics in rapturous delight – it’s little wonder the film won the festival’s FIPRESCI Prize. MIFF

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its Best Foreign Language Film shortlist on January 17, 2017, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2017; and the Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Oscar Sunday, February 26, 2017.

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