Amelie

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Amelie is a delightful french fancy of a film that leaves you feeling wonderful and ready to don your ballet pumps and pack your chic leather weekend bag, bound for Paris.  If you like romance, but want sophistication with it, Amelie is the sweet Laduree macaron of the chick flicks.

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, this 2001 film did very well for a French movie.  There are many fantastic french films, but not that many are commercially successful in the uk (sadly), however, Amelie was.

This was the film that made the beautiful Audrey Tautou a star.

Amelie Poulain (Audrey Tautou)

Amelie Poulain views life through rose-tinted glasses and lives in a fantastical world.  As a child, she was home-schooled and not allowed to play with other children because her parents believed she had a heart defect.

Amelie overlooking Paris

Her mother dies in a freak accident and her father withdraws from the world, caring more about his garden gnome than his daughter who clearly needs him. Amelie moves to an apartment in the Montmartre and works in a cafe as a waitress.

Amelie discovers a box of childhood memorabilia, that had been hidden by a little boy who lived in her apartment years before her.  She decides that she wishes to find the owner of the box and whilst doing so, she wishes to help enrich the lives of those around her. Whilst helping others, she is not addressing her own loneliness and need for love.  Amelie finds the little boy, now grown up (Nino, played by Matthieu Kassovitz) who hid the box and falls in love with him, but is not prepared to confront or act on her feelings.

Audrey Tautou is a joy in this film and never makes Amelie cloyingly sweet, annoying or stupid.  Some people dislike the way Jeunet shows Paris, in such a beautiful light. I disagree with the naysayers.  Jeunet is simply showing Paris through Amelie’s eyes.  She wants to see the good in everyone and in her surroundings and that is good enough for me.

Amelie watches Nino (Matthieu Kassovitz)

If you have never watched a foreign/subtitled film before, Amelie is a good film to start with.  For me personally, if a story is good then I don’t see the subtitles after the first ten minutes and I’m engrossed.  A beautiful feel good movie for anyone who enjoys a quirky romantic movie, or who has been, or wishes to go to Paris.

Trivia:

The main colours in the film (green, yellow and red) are inspired by the paintings of the Brazilian artist Juarez Machado

British actress, Emily Watson, was offered the role of Amelie.  In fact the role was specifically written for her, but she declined as she does not speak French

Jean-Pierre Jeunet often portrays children as orphans in his films

Amelie works in a cafe called Les Deux Moulins.  This cafe really does exist in Paris.

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8 thoughts on “Amelie

  1. I adore this movie – I studied it in my 3rd year French class and then included it in my final research project, combining film study and French. I loved going to Paris and popping my head into the very crowded Deux Moulins to see – it really has stayed just like the cafe in the film. While Montmartre really isn’t as it is portrayed, through her Rose tinted glasses, it’s so nice to see the romance in it 🙂

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    • See now, next time I visit Paris (hopefully with my best friend), I will have to visit the Deux Moulins too! Your research project sounds amazing Erica. What a lovely subject to study!

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  2. I’ve only seen Amelie once, and although I enjoyed I don’t think I thought it was as fabulous as everyone else seems to think it is… aesthetically it’s stunning though! (Found you through the DD+D group)

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