Toni Erdmann on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review

Toni Erdmann

Toni Erdmann is a film I was very sceptical when Mark Kermode said that there’s not a thing he would cut from a comedy which runs for almost three hours, especially since I would say the ideal running time for one is 90 minutes, but it started well with a first scene as Winfried (Peter Simonischek) shouts out to his ‘brother’ Toni about a package he’s claiming this mythical person has ordered, when the delivery driver turns up, with our lead also joking about how ‘Toni’ was locked up for planting parcel bombs, and how he’s “looking forward to defusing it”.

In what I’d say is more a comedy-drama, his dog has died, hence why he’s at a loss and drops in on daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller), who’s working in Bucharest, but her situation leads to him telling her he’s hiring a ‘substitute daughter’ because Ines is rarely home, as her job keeps her too busy.

Once he’s outstayed his welcome, after he leaves, she assumes he’s gone home. Then, about an hour in, he interrupts an evening drinks meet with her friends, whilst wearing a brunette wig, championing his new dentist – who’s sorting out his teeth which are “too small”, and introduces himself as Toni Erdmann, wearing ridiculous false teeth. If your Dad was 70+ and doing this, you’d freak out!!!

The problem with this film is that hardly any of it makes sense. Before I saw it, I thought Winfried was going to go from wearing a wig to cross-dressing, and perhaps beyond, but no… he just wears a wig, occasionally. And while I can understand him interrupting a meeting with Ines and one of her bosses, if she wanted to keep her job beyond that, she would ensure he keeps his pratting about well out of it – she would NOT encourage him to pretend to be a businessman (in a silly wig) and go out with her to some of the processing plants she visits.

I understand she wants to be close to him, but you do not jeapordise your career.

Early on, there was a bizarre conversation between Ines and her assistant, Anca (the stunning Ingrid Bisu), which jumps between German to English and back in mid-sentence. However, there turned out to be quite a few of these.

Any highlights? A naked party – albeit not a Stewie Griffin sexy party – takes place with Ms Huller and Ms Bisu, and that perked up my interest, but when we’re looking for a conclusion, it just… drifts into nothing. It meanders. You’re left thinking “Really???”


Peter Simonischek as Winfried in Toni form.


The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical ratio and is in 1080p high definition, and has zero issues with the picture, as you’d expect from a modern film.

The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, but as it’s a drama with precious little out of the ordinary going on, there aren’t any split-surround moments of note. It’s mainly a dialogue piece.

The extras are as follows. There’s not a great deal, but there are some welcome elements within:

  • Interviews: Three here – all subtitled in English, and with writer/director Maren Ade (10:10), Ines aka Sandra Huller (6:53) and Winfried/Toni aka Peter Simonischek (7:35).

  • Bloopers (4.27): Does exactly what it says on the tin 🙂

  • Outtakes (6:47, 4:32): These come in two parts and are both one-take alternate scenes, the first with the camera focused solely on Ines and Steph as Winfried’s introduces himself to the women as Toni; and the second with Ines and Winfried at a business meeting, again with the camera focused mostly on Ines.

  • Kukeri in Bucharest (3:34): The ‘hairy mammoth’ character walking around, giving the residents a bit of a shock.

  • Kukeri in Cannes (1:14): And more of the same.

  • Theatrical trailer (1:50): In 16:9.

The menu is static and silent, and shows someone dressed in a costume of some sort of hairy mammoth – something that relates to a later scene in the film (I’ll give no spoilers now).

Thankfully, as the film is 162 minutes long, there are more than 12 chapters… the downside? There’s only 16.

As you’d expect for a foreign language film, there are subtitles available in English.

Toni Erdmann is released today on Blu-ray, DVD and Amazon Prime, and click on the packshot for the full-size image.


Ines (Sandra Hüller) is joined by two of her assistant, including Anca (Ingrid Bisu, centre).


FILM CONTENT
PICTURE QUALITY
SOUND QUALITY
EXTRAS
3
10
7
4
OVERALL 6


Cert:
Running time: 162 minutes
Year: 2017
Distributor: Soda Pictures
Cat.no: SODA331DR0
Released: May 29th 2017
Chapters: 12
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Language: German, with some English dialogue
Subtitles: English
Widescreen: 1.85:1 (ProRes 4:2:2 (2K))
Disc Format: BD50

Director: Maren Ade
Producers: Maren Ade, Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski and Michel Merkt
Screenplay: Maren Ade

Cast:
Ines Conradi: Sandra Hüller
Winfried: Peter Simonischek
Henneberg: Michael Wittenborn
Gerald: Thomas Loibl
Tim: Trystan Pütter
Anca: Ingrid Bisu
Tatjana: Hadewych Minis
Steph: Lucy Russell
Flavia: Victoria Cocias
Dascalu: Alexandru Papadopol
Natalja: Viktoria Malektorovych
Annegret: Ingrid Burkhard
Gerhard: Jürg Löw
Renate: Ruth Reinecke
Iliescu: Vlad Ivanov

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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