My Uncle | Chicago Reader

My Uncle

Rated NR 118 minutes 1958

Shot at the same time as the French release, Mon Oncle (1958), this is the restored English-language version of Jacques Tati's classic comedy, whose immensely entertaining gags explore an increasingly mechanized and over-designed world. Tati plays his signature role, Mr. Hulot, and his impassivity helps to focus our attention on the characters' physical interactions rather than their emotions. Hulot's sister and brother-in-law live in a pretentious modernist house whose curved pathway forces visitors into an odd ballet, cars in traffic sync up, machines break down—and all this happens to a complementary symphony of beeps, buzzes, and clangs. The export version is only slightly different than the French one (the minor characters even retain their French dialogue, which is not subtitled), but the restoration is gorgeous.

Film Credits

Director: Jacques Tati

Writer: Jacques Lagrange, Jean L'Hôte and Jacques Tati

Producer: Louis Dolivet, Jacques Tati, Alain Terouanne and Fred Orain

Cast: Jacques Tati, Jean-Pierre Zola and Adrienne Servantie

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