|Tati's slapstick falls flat.|
Directed by Jacques Tati
Produced by Fred Orain
Written by Jacques Tati and Henri Marquet
Starring Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud and Michele Rolla
Plot Summary: The fumbling Monsieur Hulot vacations at a hotel by the beach.
Significance: Considered one of the greatest French comedies of all time, it was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#322 in the directors poll and #588 in the critics one). It was also nominated for a writing Oscar and an award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Thoughts: Slapstick comedy in the right hands can be genius, but Tati's gags didn't impress me here. The film is nothing more than a series of scenarios where physical comedy emerges, and those sequences aren't very memorable. Chaplin and Keaton were brilliant. They were captivating on screen. But they were more acrobatic and creative than Tati, whose attempts at humor feel tired or just not very funny. I wanted to love this movie, yet I barely laughed at all. Tati's slapstick routine feels so uninspired. His use of sound gets old, and his pratfalls feel too calculated. The staging of some jokes is effective, though I was often uninterested. I haven't seen films like Mon Oncle or Playtime, so I'm hoping I'll come around to the genius of Tati in those comedies. Still, plenty of people love this, and it deserves to be seen. I'm sure I'm one of very few who don't adore this movie.
This is the first film in my 2015 Blind Spot Series, as first started by Ryan McNeil.
I've only seen Playtime, and it was years ago, and I thought I really liked it...but lately I've come to find that many, MANY cinephiles HATE Tati and have expressed the same feelings you have with regards to his work and so I'm wondering if I'd like it now...or if I only thought I liked it because I thought I was supposed to...ReplyDelete
Really? Glad I'm not alone on my (current) opinion of Tati. I'll definitely check out his other films, but I was underwhelmed by this one.Delete
I find physical humor to either be really giod or really bad with no middle ground. Sounds like I would find this one to be of the really bad variety. This has been on my radar for a bit, but I wasn't in any rush to see it. Your lukewarm reaction to it didn't move it up in my pecking order, lol.ReplyDelete
Haha. I was very disappointed, but this has its fans, so maybe you'd like it.Delete
We talked about it a little on Twitter but I am a HUGE fan of Tati. I absolutely love this film. It really went for its playful charm, its array of characters, and his strict choreographed gags. There is quite a bit of satire and social critique woven into every Tati film and it is here as well. It's not really a story-driven piece. It's more of an observation and I really enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
That said I can see where Tati may be an aquired taste. As I mentioned on Twitter "Mon Oncle", "Playtime", and even Jour de fête are each uniquely different while also being undeniably Tati. Hope you will enjoy some of them more.
Maybe Tati's not for me. Though, I loved Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist, which was based on a screenplay by Tati. I'll be sure to check out some of his other films. :)Delete