Mon Oncle (1958)
February 24, 2020 5:41 AM - Subscribe
M. Hulot needs an objective: a job and a wife; or so it is agreed by his sister and brother in law, from their semifunctional modern suburban bunker; but perhaps it's more important that Hulot's nephew learns the value of a timely whistle and some kind of field doughnut. The second film from director/titular character Jacques Tati, noted sport pantomimist.
There's also a supporting cast of dogs, who are seen in the first shot and the last, and hurry on their doggy business in between. They don't have an important role in the plot; they're just there, checking things out, marking their territory. I learn from the elegant Web site Tativille.com that Tati found the dogs in the pound, and didn't train them but simply observed and encouraged them. "At the end of the film, we had to get rid of them," Tati wrote. He refused to send them back to the pound, and had an inspiration: He took out an ad in the paper describing them as movie stars, and they all found good homes. There is a lot of Tati in that serendipitous story.I saw this on the Criterion streaming channel, but it also appears to be on dailymotion.
-- Roger Ebert, four stars way up