The animated film The Illusionist, directed by Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville), is based on a script by Jacques Tati. And if the new film doesn't have the searing quality of Tati masterworks like Playtime, it is pleasant enough.
In 1959, a stone-faced magician (modeled on Tati's familiar, gangly screen presence) finds his engagements in Paris are drying up, as popular tastes in live entertainment shift to rock 'n' roll. He makes his way to Edinburgh, where he lives in a friendly arrangement with a young woman he meets. She covets new clothes, and he indulges her by buying them with money he earns, first by performing, then at a garage and at other jobs that don't let him use his talents. Sad developments follow.
In The Illusionist I recognize elements of Tati's satire, which in deceptively lighthearted films like My Uncle (glimpsed briefly) is so scathing about modern living and consumer culture. That dynamic drops away in The Illusionist, a film that mostly makes me want to watch Tati films.