Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mon Oncle (Jacques Tati, 1958)

My children and I watched this charming film last night and we highly recommend it. This is no fast paced, overproduced, loud disneyesque film. Consisting mostly of sight gags and only a little dialogue ( in french, we turned on the subtitle feature) we were all captured and couldn't stop watching!

Directed by Jacques Tati who also stars as the main character, the socially inept Monsiuer Hulot. But who would want to be like the stuffy French upper crust as depicted in this story? Certainly not the young nephew of M. Hulot who finds his uncle and his uncle's world in the older, quainter parts of the city completely fascinating.

Not only is there wonderful physical comedy somewhat akin to Jerry Lewis, there is also a beautiful and compelling world. Just like his nephew I'd much rather run in the field behind M. Hulot's apartment building then walk in the stilted formal garden of the moderne technological wonder that is the nephew's home. The whole film is connected by a lyrical, whimsical musical score that leaves you with a warm feeling long after the film has ended.

Full of wonderful character depictions and funny sight gags this film was enjoyed by my children who are 8 and 10. But don't just listen to me...check it out for yourself!

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