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Toni Erdmann

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When asked to apologize for a rude comment, Toni Erdmann’s immediate response should be, “Which one?” Erdmann is the alter ego of Winfried Conradi (Peter Simonischek). Together he embarks on a trip to Bucharest looking to patch things up with an estranged, and no doubt embarrassed-to-tears daughter, Ines (Sandra Hüller). Showing up unannounced at her place of employment — and with Toni’s trademark Prince Valiant fright wig and buck-toothed Nutty Professor dentifrice firmly in place — dad displays all the charm of a 600-lb. mosquito. The off-putting character being such as it is, caused me to scrawl the name “Tony Clifton” across my notepad. Sure enough, Andy Kaufman’s prankster and premeditatedly abrasive second-self was the impetus behind this epic one-joke comedy from German writer-director Maren Ade. Clifton’s caustic exchanges were as short-lived as they were amusing. Even more disagreeable than Toni’s overbearing and resoundingly unfunny gabble is the film’s hefty 162 minute running time. (2016) — Scott Marks

Rated R | 2 hours, 42 minutes
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