Perhaps because of the inclusion of the young boy, the stakes seem slightly higher here than in other Tati films and the typical longing/nostalgia veers into very real sadness. This poor boy is stuck with insane parents, parents who don’t really seem to care as much about him as they do themselves, and the one person who does care is shipped off.
Even after seeing a few of his films I still feel amazed by Zeman’s style every time. This one feels a little more clunky at times, but it is still a lot of fun and I love the use of sound. It would seem Wes Anderson drew on this film a lot for Life Aquatic, with many shots seeming like they were remade almost verbatim.
One of the best films I’ve ever seen about the father son relationship. This and Night of the Hunter put together sum up maybe the most emotionally accurate portrayal for me personally. The characters and situations are familiar, but are always twisted just the right way to feel real instead of tired. Lee Cobb especially goes all out, playing a theatrical character, but again finding the poetic truth if maybe not the realism.