M. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)

M. Hulot’s Holiday (1953) – Was I just having an off day or what? I feel like I should have liked this movie much more than I did. All I really got out of it was a sense of detached amusement for some parts. I was a big fan of Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, which was made from an unproduced script by Jacques Tati. The way it borrowed much of the technique of silent film (though it is not silent) worked well for me, and I had heard that most of Tati’s films were similar in execution (though obviously not animated like Chomet’s). Tati’s character of Monsieur Hulot was like his version of Chaplin’s Little Tramp. He’s a well-intentioned and friendly man who gets into a series of comical misunderstandings heavily reliant of physical comedy. As the title would imply, the movie is about a vacation that Hulot takes to a seaside resort. Some funny things happened, but I never really felt connected to the movie. I feel like I’m criticizing the movie for my own attitude. It’s annoying how much one’s mood affects the way you experience a movie because I feel like I’m short-changing an acclaimed film-maker. Then again, maybe his films just aren’t to my taste. Tati made several more films starring Hulot like Mon Oncle, Play Time, and Trafic, so maybe I’ll check those out in the future. In the meantime I’d recommend checking out Chaplin films instead.

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