Mon Oncle (1958)

Mon Oncle Movie Review

………………………………………………………..

Mon Oncle Movie Review

Mon Oncle is a 1958 comedy film directed by Jacques Tati. It is an interesting, but mostly overrated film.

The plot is the major problem. This movie has simply put no plot. None to be had. It relies on visual and auditory storytelling instead which is fine, but because it isn’t particularly strong in those areas as well, it ends up being such a dull, really so-so experiment. Yes, I really respect Tati for what he did with sound effects as that was really unique, but only a couple of scenes benefit from this approach unfortunately and the film still needed a stronger plot to carry it through.

………………………………………………………..

Mon Oncle Movie Review

………………………………………………………..

The characters are also underdeveloped and basically non-entities. Monsieur Hulot in particular is very disappointing, but the women do deliver in terms of comedy. The acting is okay, but not particularly demanding as there aren’t many lines to be had here.

The only thing that I really liked in Mon Oncle is its humor. The film is never hilarious and most of it is boring and not funny, but some moments are definitely funny and those moments happen in the first half as the second one is inferior. The parody of consumerism and modern architecture in particular produced some quality comedic sequences and the scenes where they show off to the neighbors are easily the highlights as they are so funny, but also truthful and relevant.

…………………………………………………………

Mon Oncle Movie Review

…………………………………………………………

But Mon Oncle again falls flat because that parody at the center of the film is ultimately disappointing. It does lead to some great and funny scenes, but it is for the most part just there and never really impactful. Also, you can really do so much with this premise until going into repetitive and dull territory which is exactly what happened here.

The film is badly paced and quite overlong, especially for a comedy. The acting is okay in the English-language version that I’ve watched. The dialogue is sparingly used, but some lines are pretty good and funny. Its message is non-existent which is unfortunate as the movie sorely needed it. The tone is sometimes too light and comedic. It would have been fine if it was funny throughout the whole running time, but it just wasn’t. And sometimes it is too silly in its tone.

………………………………………………..

Mon Oncle Movie Review

………………………………………………..

Let’s talk about the visuals. Mon Oncle’s strongest point has to be its set design. It is magnificent. The entire house and especially its yard is so phenomenally put together and you can say that it is the main character of the movie. The grass, the paths, the interiors and of course that sprinkler in the fountain. Everything here is just marvelous to look at and so ridiculous, but ultimately funny in its inefficiency and uselessness. It is also very original as rarely have I seen something like this. It is one of the movies that benefit most from its set design a lot and that was interesting to witness.

…………………………………………………

Mon Oncle Movie Review

…………………………………………………

The score is also one of the highlights. That theme is so good and so wonderful that its eventual overly extended usage can be forgiven. The film is technically quite good, but it is still mostly a failure in terms of characterization, plot and meaning. It received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and undeservedly so in a very weak year for foreign flicks.

Mon Oncle’s highlights are fantastic set designs, great score and some quite funny scenes. But because those are the only really great things about it, the film is mostly a failed experiment due to repetitive nature and its parody not being as powerful as it should have been with a lack of message or any characterization or plot to it whatsoever. It is unique and somewhat interesting, but ultimately dull and overrated.

My Rating – 3

……………………………………………………..

Share
Posted in 1950s, 1958, Comedy, FILM DECADES, Foreign, French, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.