Since winning the prized golden Oscar statue for the Cold War drama, The Lives of Others, in 2007, Germany has failed for the last decade to follow it with another award-winning hit, but 2017 may just change that. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released their Academy Award nominations on Tuesday, and Germany’s surprise hit comedy, Toni Erdmann, made it onto the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film.
Choosing a comedy to represent German cinema is a bold move when the Academy typically favors drama, but other films have managed to pull it off in the past. In fact, Toni Erdmann is not the comedy up for the Oscar in its category. Sweden’s comedy A Man Called Ove also joins the list.
In Toni Erdmann, the story centers around father who, after being nonexistent, decides to make up for the years past with his daughter, who is a successful business consulting. The problem is that he decides to walk into her life just as she’s embarking on an important business trip in Bucharest, causing her to juggle the two by trying to pass her father off as a German ambassador.
With the success Toni Erdmann has already seen in the festival and award circuit, Germany may actually have a better shot at the gold statue than it did with The White Ribbon, the country’s last nomination, in 2010.