M. Hulot's Holiday and Mon Oncle
by David Ng
Jacques Tati is one of the great comic icons of French cinema, a Gallic equivalent of Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton, whose works as director, writer, and actor are regarded fondly by audiences as well as harder-to-please critics. Like a true auteur, Tati essentially made only one kind of film, in his case, the physical comedy. There is little to no dialogue in his movies, and the action, frenzied but tightly choreographed, is invariably set to a breezy musical score. The main protagonist of all his movies is also his screen alter ego, the ubiquitous Monsieur Hulot who, with his pipe and trenchcoat, eventually came to personify the Tati canon.
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