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Toni Erdmann (2016)

To paraphrase the late, great Jim Croce, you don’t stand on Superman’s cape; you don’t spit into the wind; you don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger, and you don’t remake Toni Erdmann. Yet, buried in this week of poorly educated decisions comes a cinematic whopper of DeVos proportions: Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig will star in an American version of Maren Ade’s inimitable German dramedy about a kooky dad so desperate to connect with his corporate-climbing daughter that he infiltrates her world with an alternate personality. The writer/director deftly redefines genre in real-time by flushing every narrative rule and giving the audience room to breathe—and think for themselves. Plus, thanks to fearless, tragicomic performances by Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller, any actor who dares bring even the loftiest pedigree to either part faces instant neutering. Some roles simply can’t be messed with. Just ask Jackie Earle Haley.

Listen to Kicking the Seat Podcast #190 for more Toni Erdmann love with Ian and's Patrick "The Über Critic" McDonald!

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