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Mon Oncle

1 rating: 5.0
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Director: Jacques Tati
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: November 3, 1958
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Mon Oncle

Another Mr. Hulot masterpiece.

  • Aug 1, 2011
**** out of ****

Only two films in, and I already love him; Jacques Tati is now one of my favorite filmmakers, and his famous character, Mr. Hulot, is one of my favorite movie-characters yet. I say this without having yet finished the man's entire filmography; but I'll get to it soon enough. Oh yes I will. And happily so; if his films continue to be as great and pleasurable as "Mr. Hulot's Holiday" and this, then I'm guessing he's some kind of genius.

"Mon Oncle" has more of a story when compared to "Mr. Hulot's Holiday". That film was special because it was observant, calm, and witty; and also satirical, as I must mention such an admirably fine quality. "Mon Oncle" has some of the same positive attributes, and I like it for the same reasons, but it has somewhat of a different aim. But then again, some of the targets are brought over from the earlier film and given to the later one. And I'm OK with that.

Mr. Hulot (Jacques Tati), everyone's favorite bumbling French schmuck, has left that very memorable beach resort, and is now staying close-by his nephew and the kid's parent's house. The child adores Uncle Hulot; who also loves him back. Perhaps the kid loves Hulot even more than his own parents; given how hilariously materialistic, lazy, and rude they are.

Hulot doesn't wish to follow in their footsteps. They may be rich, but they are, quite frankly, nothing but snobs. While they live in a big house, complete with a fish-water-statue in the front yard, Mr. Hulot is fine with living in Paris, in a neighborhood populated with school children and a plethora of dogs. He is unemployed, but he has always been one to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, so I guess that doesn't bug him much either. He'd much rather just go and pick his nephew up from school each day, be proud of himself for doing so, and allow life to run its course.

I got the most fun out of watching "Mon Oncle" when it was allowing itself to become a fine, very fine showcase of Tati's adoration for "visual gags". There's a hilarious scene where Mr. Hulot picks up a drinking glass, drops it a couple times, discovers it can bounce due to an added thing on the bottom, and does so with a regular glass; causing that one to shatter.

There are many jokes, and memorable scenes, in "Mon Oncle". I could spoil them all for you and be an asshole, but why would I want to do that? Sure, it's fun to be an ass, even if a guy like Tati probably would not approve, but it's not fun to spoil jokes for people and therefore I won't do that.

Like "Mr. Hulot's Holiday", the second Mr. Hulot outing is an innocent but very funny "good time". It was as interesting as it was well-timed in a comedic sense. Hulot is, as I described in my review for "Mr. Hulot's Holiday", a "human tornado". He picks up everything in his path and takes it with him; without noticing. Here, he is living in a world that he can't understand; nor does he know that if he tried, he COULD understand it. He sits on the couch, turns it over the wrong way, and doesn't mind. He walks in the fountain water. He knows not of his idiotic behavior. But I suppose that's what makes it funny.

I enjoyed the satire that the film presents its audience with. Those who go to the movie for what it is will certainly enjoy themselves; and I know I did. There's something special in each Mr. Hulot film, I presume, and if there's anything here that "Mr. Hulot's Holiday" didn't have; it's the supporting-cast of doggies and the addition of the futuristic-type setting. The film seems to present a combination of the past and the future of technology. This was probably intentional. As was most things in "Mon Oncle". It's a wonderful film, I enjoyed it as much as I could, and for all its goofy glory, it's a movie you should see.

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