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Germany's 'Toni Erdmann' makes Oscar shortlist

December 16, 2016

A surprise hit about a father-daughter relationship has been selected to compete with eight other finalists for an Academy Award nomination. Maren Ade's dark comedy is riding a wave of award wins.

Toni Erdmann Film
Image: Komplizen Film

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced late on Thursday that Germany's critically acclaimed darling "Toni Erdmann" had made it on to the Oscar shortlist for Best Foreign-Language Film. Maren Ade's dark comedy about a complicated relationship between a prankster father and his workaholic daughter just swept last week's European Film Awards.

The list of nine films was whittled down from 85 entries from all over the world. Other top contenders include Xavier Dolan's Canadian-French family drama "It's Only the End of the World" and Iranian Oscar-winner Asghar Garhadi's latest effort, "The Salesman."

Two surprising snubs were Paul Verhoeven's well-received tale of sexual assault and revenge, "Elle," and "Neruda," Pablo Larrain's biopic about Chile's Nobel-prize winning poet and political activist Pablo Neruda.

The final six films that will actually be in the running for an Oscar are set to be announced alongside all other Academy Award nominations on January 24. The ceremony itself will come a month later on February 26 in Hollywood.

A lot of love for "Toni Erdmann"

Since its premiere at the Cannes film festival, "Toni Erdmann" has wowed critics across the globe, picking up not only a trove of European Film Awards but also a Golden Globe nomination and the top spot on the British Film Institute's list of best films of 2016.

The story of a father determined to disrupt the life of his hardworking daughter, a consultant for an oil company in Romania, has received high praise for its unique blend of absurd humor and melancholy. It is further notable for being the only entry in both the European Film Awards top prize and the Oscar list directed by a woman.

Since reunification, German films have been nominated for the foreign-language Oscar seven times, winning twice - in 2002 for "Nowhere in Africa" and in 2006 for "The Lives of Others."

es/sms (AFP, dpa)

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