Saturday, February 7, 2015

337. Mon Oncle/My Uncle (1958)

Running Time: 115 minutes
Directed By: Jacques Tati
Written By: Jacques Lagrange, Jean L'Hote, Jacques Tati
Main Cast: Jacques Tati, Jean-Pierre Zola, Adrienne Servantie, Alain Becourt, Lucien Fregis
Click here to view the trailer

Note: Just so everyone knows, I'm really in no hurry to finish THE BOOK. Like I said in my recap post, I'm starting to watch some other movies among THE BOOK movies, so there may be weeks at time where I watch other stuff and then slip in a few BOOK flicks. We're down to the wire now, I know I'll finish THE BOOK, so at this point I've gotten the urge to just slow it all down and take my time. That's all.


Tati/Hulot #2 went over worse than Mr. Hulot's Holiday, as Tati proves that I'm not his biggest fan, by any means. I put this one off most of the week, thanks to my lukewarm reaction to the first Hulot film and apparently, put it off for good reason.

This was very similar to the first film, except I'd say worse, less funny and with more dialogue, which wasn't needed. The film pokes a stick at consumerism and the wave of technology that apparently overtook France postwar. In this installment of the Hulot series, we meet Mr. Hulot's sister (Servantie), brother-in-law (Zola) and nephew (Becourt) - the Arpel family. The Arpel couple are very cut & paste, materialistic people, whom Gerard would rather get away from - enter Mr. Hulot, whom he looks up to. When Monsieur Arpel tries to get Hulot a job, it goes horribly wrong, as you may have guessed - as we're treated to Tati gags aplenty (which, I reiterate, just aren't as funny or as clever as the ones in the first installment of the Hulot series). It's the Arpel home which provided the most fun for me with this movie, a geometrically shaped castle, complete with fish water fountain, sensor activated front gate and garage, two large circular windows that looked more like eyes and stepping stones, which must be walked upon (never on the grass!). When I think back on this movie, I'll remember the Arpel home more than Tati and his Hulot character.

These just aren't for me and I'll keep this short & sweet again, as I won't have much too much different to say than what I've already said in my Mr. Hulot's Holiday review. Why should I care about consumerism, the modern age or the consumerist, materialistic values of the Arpel's? Is this a case of culture clash - a "you had to be there" situation, where I just don't get why this is so relevant? Sure, the film had it's moments and didn't drag by as hopelessly as maybe I made it out to, but in the end, it wasn't anything I'd necessarily want to see again and I'll certainly dread watching Playtime now. Believe it or not, this one actually made me appreciate Mr. Hulot's Holiday more, as that installment seemed to be more centered around the gags, than an actual message. Here, even though I didn't really get the message and didn't identify with Tati's stick poking at the modern age, it was still easy to see that there was indeed a message and it was going over my head. I longed for the gags of the original installment, but instead got more dialogue, more plot and less funny.

RATING: 4/10  At least, like some other BOOK movies, I don't see myself forgetting this one, which is at least something. Memorable, yet I didn't like it.


February 7, 2015  1:01pm


  1. I liked this one a little bit more than you did, but I understand your points. I would probably go like 6 out of 10. I did like some of the stuff in this movie, but it's very uneven. Good review.

    1. I always get a little validation boost every time you swing in and give me that "good review". Thanks for that!

  2. Oh dear... Sorry you are mot taking to tati.
    As, I think, I said before, I can see why - he can get a bit silly 'fall about' at times, and some characters are taken a bit too far but..
    Well, I think most of the time there is a lot of sly, satirical observational humour that is very clever.
    I'd not go ultra high.. about 7.5 will do for me for a whole film, but with decided moments of 9 to 10.
    How many more do you have to 'endure'?

    1. Just Playtime and it's done. Review should go up while you're sleeping.


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