Sunday, February 1, 2015

264. Les Vacances de M. Hulot/Mr. Hulot's Holday (1953)

Running Time: 114 minutes
Directed By: Jacques Tati
Written By: Jacques Tati. Henri Marquet, Pierre Aubert, Jacques Lagrange
Main Cast: Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Micheline Rolla, Valentine Camax, Louis Perrault
Click here to view the trailer


I've had Tati's Playtime sitting on my desk for well over a month now, as it became available (off of a long wait) on Netflix back then and for some reason (I can't even remember now) I wanted to hold these over until the final 100. Perhaps I wanted to stack the deck for the big race to the finish, perhaps I thought I'd really like these or something. Well, I didn't REALLY like the first installment of the Hulot franchise, but it was okay, I guess.

Honestly, there's not much of a plot to speak of, so I'll tell you what little there is to tell and we'll segue right into the review portion of this write up. Tati himself plays Mr. Hulot, a clumsy, calamity inducing, slender Frenchman who brings chaos wherever he goes, though he means well and almost never realizes that the chaos he's causing is coming from himself. In this movie, he heads to the beach for a vacation, driving his old jalopy down the road, that is until it finally falls apart on him and he ends up having to get a push start for the rest of the film, whenever he wishes to drive it. He has a good time at the beach house; playing tennis, dining with the locals, horseback riding with a dream girl and even letting off a few fireworks. The whole thing is very slapstick and if you wanna get a feel for what this one's like, just think Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, just with a smidgen of dialogue (though there isn't much and certainly nothing pertinent is said). The meat & potatoes of the film is made up of the gags and all comes from Tati's own talents of playing a half wit with anarchy on his tail.

Honestly, what sets Tati's stuff apart from say Keaton or Chaplin? If I wanted something like this, why wouldn't I just watch the film's of those gentlemen, which are easily better. Sure, this was okay and I laughed throughout (especially during Hulot's unnatural tennis serving technique), but in the end, it was a shrug of the shoulders and a *meh* from me. Do I look forward to the other two (Mon Oncle and Playtime)? Well, I don't dread them, that's for certain, so here's hoping that somehow they're better, yet I have a feeling that the original is the top of the class. Lets just keep it extremely short today and I'll let my rating say everything else that needs saying.

RATING: 6/10  Perhaps a revisit someday will brighten my mood toward this, because in actuality, I should've loved this kind of thing.


February 1, 2015  12:49pm


  1. I sort of know what you mean..He can be a bit overly slapstick at times.. but there are so many subtle, thoughtful satirical gags in there to carry it beyond.
    You know where I stand on Chaplin V Keaton .. and I put Tati decidedly in the Keaton camp.

    1. I have a feeling in time I'll sweeten on this, but for now I felt very *meh* toward it.


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