Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mr. Hulot's Holiday

Here the title sufficiently sums up the plot: the clumsy, gangly, and kindly man takes his sabbatical in a French resort town where he wreaks havoc on the vacationing inhabitants. Jacques Tati's subtle, nearly silent observational comedy, in which he wrote, starred, and directed, introduced his Mr. Hulot character to the masses which simultaneously serves as a critique of the upper class, an homage to the silent comics, and a funny and breezy postcard. Although it would seem like this has gone largely unseen today, it still has served as an inspiration to many of today's comedians. I was in a foul mood when I watched this recently and was initially frustrated with its pacing. As it progressed, I was quickly placed under its spell as I was whisked away on Mr. Hulot's enchanting, picaresque vacation.
*** 1/2 out of ****