The weakest thing about Toni Erdmann is the overriding theme -- it kind of amounts to "parents should teach their kids to enjoy life rather than strive for material success", with a side order of "we don't appreciate life enough as it's passing by" (articulated by Winfried in a late speech eerily close to Emily's in Act Three of Our Town).
The beauty of the film is, Maren Ade's field of vision is so vast and idiosyncratic, and offers so much nuance, that this reductive summary of the theme doesn't begin to give an idea of what the movie's about. The film's narrative trajectory is constantly surprising -- introducing more and more characters, taking us unexpected places (culminating in the hilarious brunch scene). And it gives us a compelling, complex, contradictory central character in Ines, who loves her father, and obviously, on some level, wants to be the free spirit he pushes her to be -- but who, in the final shot, appears to be unable to make the leaps of faith he'd like her to make.
This is probably a discussion for the Foreign Language Film thread when it appears, but I have some doubt this film will waltz off with the Oscar. I know the trend of late has been for the critically endorsed big bopper to win, rather than the sentimental efforts that had won in the previous decade or two. But don't think The Great Beauty or Son of Saul were quite the challenge to voters that Toni Erdmann will be -- the petits fours scene alone will alienate some significant portion of oldsters. They might prefer to honor The Salesman, as tribute to Farhadi's anti-Trump boycott...
...or they might go for A Man Called Ove. This film is based on an apparent big best-seller, and it FEELS like a best-seller, of the sort Wally Lamb turns out. It's a brisk enough watch, with a few juicy incidents and colorful characters. But none of it feels like it means very much -- the events are inventive enough, but random: I don't feel like they add up to defining the central character in an interesting way. However, the film gives much more of a warm hug to its audience, and it might just appeal to those who can't make sense of Ade's oddball universe.