If you remember nothing else about THE MAN IN THE HAT, you’ll remember the unusual way of removing an oil stain from his clothes.

Of course, you’ll remember much more from this eccentric, eclectic, enigmatic entertainment, redolent of Jacques Tati, with Ciaran Hinds as a sort of baffled and beleaguered M. Hulot, as he deals with certain sartorial mishaps with shirts, shoes and his hat.

THE MAN IN THE HAT begins in Marseilles where the eponymous millinery model witnesses a sinister sinking.

He immediately sets off from Marseilles in a small Fiat 500. On the seat beside him is a framed photograph of an unknown woman. Behind him is a 2CV into which is squeezed the Five Bald Men that he saw swinging something into the sea. Were they disposing a body and now want to eliminate him as a witness? And how can he shake them off?

As he travels North through France, he encounters razeteurs, bullfights, mysterious women, plenty of delicious food, a depressed damp man, musical mechanics, a fugitive priest and a posse of nuns, a convention of Chrystallographers and much more. And always, on his tail, the Five Bald Men.

As the Fiat 500 wends its way across the mountains, gorges and bridges of France, the 2CV hard behind him, The Man in the Hat comes face to face with the vivid eccentricities of an old country on an old continent.

THE MAN IN THE HAT is Academy Award winning composer, Stephen Warbeck’s debut feature film as a writer director, and the film’s composition is an orchestrated symphony of charming chamber pieces a travelogue of jaunty tunes that reflect the diversity and ebullience of the French countryside.

And, as expected, the musical score that accompanies it is as much a narrative tool as the words and images. It too is an eclectic ensemble of style that thrillingly combines into a holistic harmony.

Full of quirky characters, scintillating scenery, and surprising incident, THE MAN IN THE HAT is a delightfully daffy doff of the chapeau to Chaplin, Tati, Beckett and Fellini.