"The Furniture" by Daniel Walber
Toni Erdmann is a film about chairs. It is also a film about couches, though less so. Its grander themes, the culture of global capitalism and the relationship between parents and adult children, are excellent stuffing for oddly shaped poolside chaises and hideous hotel sofas. The milieu is convincingly skin-deep, punctuated by passionless objects that look blankly up at the uproarious behavior of the characters.
This satirical furniture represents some of the best production design of 2016, though Toni Erdmann may not be the first film to come to mind.
It plays a supporting role, commenting in muted colors. Yet Maren Ade’s comedy of personal and professional tension has a thoughtful design sensibility, perfectly attuned to the non-places that have been projected across the globe by transnational corporations...