All is calm in this little village in the center of France until the fairground entertainers arrive with their trailers. François, the local postman, discovers a film about the American postal service. Encouraged by the whole village, he sets out to deliver the mail “American Style.”
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A charming first film from Tati, and like a lot of first films, it's more an assemblage of raw material than a masterpiece. But the building blocks of his masterpieces are all here: a self-contained microcosm, man vs. modernity, the nuttiness of technology, a loving eye for people-watching. And getting to see him play a non-Hulot character—in fact, a character who's the opposite of Hulot—is a treat.
[First film rated on MUBI - January 2009/First film seen at the new Cinemateca Portuguesa - January 2003] Can one give 5 stars, two times? Saw this on public TV, VHS, DVD and on 35 mm film print. Amazing in every format. Damn: I heart you oh so much Ô Jacques Tati. Been a favorite of mine for more than a decade. (Obrigado Avô Mário.)
This is a charming little film from director/actor Jacques Tati. The small town in which its set is a pleasure to the eyes as is the music to the ears. And it's got some truly wonderful comedic moments.
The second half of Tati's first film reuses much of the material from his short film "School for Postmen". For this reason, I found the second half less entertaining than the first. The first half finds Tati in remarkable, fully-realized form for a first feature. The laughs come thick and fast. His wry psychological observations of common humanity are charming and as endearing as anything he made after.
Charming, picturesque tale of determination, patriotic zeal as he resiliently and hilariously strives for ultimate human efficiency in a world of increasingly machinated productiveness. Tati at his hapless and humane best, in my opinion his most enjoyable film.