Mr Hulot's Holiday, Jaques Tati
A film full of magic.
Main Cast
Jacues Tati Monsieur Hulot
Nathalie Pascaud Martine
Micheline Rolla The Aunt
Valentine Camax Englishwoman
Louis Perrault Fred
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My Rating
Nine out of ten.
I fist saw this at the North Staffs Poly Film Theatre when I was living in the area in the early eighties. I have been enchanted ever since.
My review

There is no plot to this film, we just follow the adventures of Mr Hulot on a short holiday to a Breton seaside resort in the immediate post-war years. He is joined there, for what is best described as a fictional fly on the wall doucmentary, by exactly the sort of disparate crowd that you would expect to meet on such a holiday.

Almost bereft of dialogue and filmed in black and white, we see Hulot involved in a series of adventures and misadventures. In a way, the film is like an early fifties version of Mr Bean but Hulot's reaction to every mishap is a Gallic shrug and a happy disposition which always rubs off on those around him.

The humour is a mixture of surreal, slapstick and irony and, despite the relaxed atmosphere of the film, there is always something happenning. There is no moment without some visual or audio gag somewhere. Despite this relentless stream, there is great balance in the film. You never feel that there is too much of something or that a certain point has been pushed too far. Great comedy always needs that kind of restraint and flawless timing.

This is the first and certainly the best of the Mr Hulot films. The later ones never recaptured the same sense of innocent whimsy. This film stands out as one of the funniest movies ever made.