The Man in the Hat
starring Ciarán Hinds, directed by John-Paul Davidson and Stephen Warbeck
There’s a theory, when it comes to reviews – of anything – that the reviewer needs to have a background, some level of expertise, to be able to effectively assess that which they are reviewing. In food writing, food critics will insist that to write a good review, there should be an understanding of how the food was made, flavoured, grown, etc. Meanwhile, sites like Yelp thrive on reviews based on whether or not an individual liked the taste of what they ate and little more. Does knowledge change our level of enjoyment and understanding of something?
I bring this up here because it’s an important point when it comes to The Man in the Hat as well as the reviews of this film published so far.
124 Harbord Street
Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and wine: $130
I’m not a fan of science fiction. I’m a grounded in reality kind of gal. So every time I watch the film Mon Oncle by famed French actor/director Jacques Tati, I am always relieved when main character Monsieur Hulot leaves his sister’s “house of the future” to return to his little garret across the market square from the quintessential Parisian bistro. The juxtaposition of the modern kitchen and M. Hulot’s primitive, neighbourhood, family-run bistro speak to generations of people, both in France and elsewhere, who long to retain their cultural roots.
Chef Laurent Brion manages to capture exactly the mood of Hulot’s neighbourhood bistro (okay, minus the pack of dogs out front) in Harbord Street’s newest gem, Tati Bistro. Sporting a logo of Tati’s bumbling postman character atop his bicycle from the film Jour du Fête, the restaurant takes over the location of the former Kensington Kitchen and brings a tiny touch of Paris to downtown Toronto.