'The Man in the Hat' - Movie Review

This one is unusual in several ways. It's surreal and absurd, and it's directed by a composer. The director-composer is British, but the movie is essentially a love letter to the French countryside. And I think we have to mention Jacques Tati, as this is set in France and the titular character (Ciarán Hinds) says essentially nothing for the entire movie, although he does make the occasional noise.

The Man drives his old Fiat 500 across France, pursued by five men in a battered old Citroën Dyane. He overhears strange stories, sees strange things, is sung to several times, and has strange adventures. He sees the same people over and over in different places. These events don't exactly connect into a coherent whole, but the movie isn't about the story as much as feelings, mild humour, and a sense of place. The French countryside is almost always gorgeous (although I recommend visiting over watching a movie ...), the composer's new songs are reasonably good, and the whole thing is charming and whimsical. I didn't fall in love, but it was a nice way to spend an hour and a half.