M. Hulot's Holiday

Watch M. Hulot's Holiday

"It's laugh-vacation time!"
  • NR
  • 1953
  • 1 hr 54 min
  • 7.3  (19,911)

M. Hulot's Holiday is a French comedy film released in 1953. The film stars Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, and Micheline Rolla. It was directed by Jacques Tati who also wrote the screenplay along with Henri Marquet. It is an iconic film from the early years of French cinema, and it showcases Tati's unique style of visual comedy. The film follows Mr. Hulot, a middle-aged man who goes on a holiday to a quiet beachside resort town. During his stay there, he interacts with the other guests and locals, all of whom are either relaxing or trying to make the most of their vacation. Mr. Hulot's peaceful vacation, however, gets interrupted by his antics and the people around him.

Right from the outset, the film immerses viewers into the vacation scene, with shots of the morning sun, crowded city streets, and railway stations. The use of long and medium shots efficiently capture the arrival of different holidaymakers and gives viewers an insight into their personalities.

There is no specific plot, but the audience follows Mr. Hulot as he tries to enjoy his time, usually unsuccessfully. He spends his days trying new activities such as tennis and boating but always ends up causing chaos. Mr. Hulot's unruly antics, including mishaps on his tennis game and sunbathing habits, as well as incidents such as him scaring horses and disrupting people's picnics, make for some of the funniest scenes in the film.

The film's comedic moments are mainly visual gags, relying purely on the director's ability to set up the scene, and the actor's ability to perform physical comedy. The film has a minimalist approach to dialogue, and much of it is in the background or conversations heard from a distance. The result is a film that is incredibly charming, amusing, and a classic example of French cinema.

One of the most innovative aspects of M. Hulot's Holiday is the director's use of sound. The film has a naturalistic sound design where every sound is captured and amplified, from the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore to the clanging of tableware in the café. The sound design combined with the visuals creates a realistic world, and viewers feel like they are right there with Mr. Hulot.

The film is shot in magnificent black and white, capturing the beauty of the hotel and surrounding areas. The film's pacing is also well crafted, with the early scenes in the city contrasting the peacefulness of the beachside. It also highlights the change in mood when Mr. Hulot arrives at the resort, with the shots slowing down and medium and long takes allowing viewers to take in the environment.

The performances are also noteworthy, especially that of Jacques Tati, who portrays Mr. Hulot. Tati's character seems to fit so well in the film's environment, with his subtle gestures and expressions conveying his personality. The other actors in the film, including Nathalie Pascaud and Micheline Rolla, all play their respective roles effortlessly, adding to the film's overall charm.

M. Hulot's Holiday is a film that unapologetically celebrates the charm and innocence of a bygone era. It is an excellent viewing experience filled with an eclectic mix of people, quirky characters, and delightful humor. The film may lack traditional plot structure or character development, but it compensates with an evocative atmosphere and stunning visuals.

Overall, M. Hulot's Holiday is a must-watch film for anyone looking for pure entertainment and a tribute to French cinema. It is a joyful, inventive, and heartwarming film that takes viewers back to a simpler time where the art of good storytelling relied on charm, wit, and humor.

M. Hulot's Holiday
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 54 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (19,911)