Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy


Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953) Poster

Monsieur Hulot comes to a beachside hotel for a vacation and accidentally, but good-naturedly, causes havoc.


7.5/10
16,305

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5 March 2004 | maryfisk
10
| An Absolute Hoot 10/10
A French classic every bit as funny as "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Except for missing the wonderfully amusing sound effects, this nearly silent film could be viewed with the sound on mute. Its plethora of homages to the great films of the silent era, meticulously executed slapstick and sight gags make me grin, smile broadly and laugh out loud every time I watch this Gallic masterpiece.

On a visual level alone, this movie works. Kids too young to understand anything about how movies are supposed to work laugh at the kayak, the fireworks, the tennis, at M. Hulot's gawky awkwardness, etc, etc.

It takes a bit more maturity, or perhaps immersion in Gallic sensibilities, to get all the underlying humor.

Whereas Monty Python takes more obvious pokes at the French, Tati's Hulot takes subtle swipes at the Brits and the Americans. It's 1953. The English speaking world has saved France from the Germans, but the French are losing the cultural battle not only to their liberator's language, but to their mechanized world. Hulot, the old French owl (note Tati's birdlike mannerisms), has become the awkward outsider in his own seaside resort. In that context, much of what might appear disjointed, takes on an appealing continuity. Ferreting it all out is like peeling an onion, layer by layer. Each viewing finds something new.

A film which improves with age and frequent viewing.

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