In Jacque Tati’s fun, often brilliant, always inherently kind film, Mon Oncle, a modernising world mirrors the desire of a young boy to spend time with his whimsically anachronistic uncle (Monsieur Hulot) instead of his rich, acquisitive, gadget-obsessed parents. In this world—divided between an efficient but sterile modern city, and a ramshackle but charming French town—the Actor-Director humorously illustrates a critical diorama of technology and social structures, emphasising our myopia to the values lost to modernisation.
Tati guides us across clockwork landscapes inhabited by figurine characters, comically illustrating the duality between old and new through mise-en-scene gags and aural gestures. From a street sweeper who never cleans and constantly looses himself in small talk, to an overbearing wife who runs after her husband just to wipe specs of dust off him (and later his car), Tati’s characters comically reflect the changing world around them, pushing us to wonder whether all progress is truly good and whether, in its pursuit, something valuable was left behind.
But Mon Oncle is not a film about loss—Hulot shows us the beauty within the simple and mundane, and a joyful child-like curiosity for what lies ahead, helping us discover serendipity in a world of disappointment.

You may also like

Back to Top