Mon Oncle (1958)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Satire, Domestic Comedy, Slapstick  |   Release Date - May 10, 1958 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Brendon Hanley

Like Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton, France's great comic satirist Jacques Tati plays the role of the bumbling innocent. Tati's irreverent, serio-comic Monsieur Hulot films pit the hero's naive charm against the vagaries of the modern world; nowhere is this theme more overt than in the director's first color film, Mon Oncle. Convoluted technological advances turn up in the most unassuming places, and poor Hulot is typically the brunt of the action. Like Chaplin and Keaton before him, Tati uses the character's inherent mildness and some wonderfully choreographed slapstick comedy to underscore his commentary on humanity versus the changes of modern life. Mon Oncle was widely acclaimed, winning the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar as well as a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Perfectionist Tati would wait almost a decade before his next feature, the extraordinary Playtime (1967).