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Amélie /

Rated: R
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Claire Maurier
Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Produced by: Claudie Ossard, Jean-Marc Deschamps
Written by: Guillaume Laurant, Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Distributor: Miramax Zoe


Movie Image
Movie Image
Movie Image

     Amélie is a film I am going to have to watch again. There is something distinctively clueless about it that makes us not understand what is going on, though we know perfectly well. In a deep state of involvement, we feel exactly as the characters and enjoy the clever and witty drama unfolding along with them. Amélie is a quirky little character with mindless intentions that pulls us into a trap of guilty pleasures. A cocky and bizarre sense of reality lingers in the core of Amélie, and deserves to be there. Despite the unlikely events and unrealistic points in the screenplay, the characters are longing for things of real value: love, happiness, and the ability to change. This makes the film all the more amusing and interesting. And it truly makes us feel good.

     Amélie is a sad little girl, who is unsociable. Her mother schools her, and her father takes care of her medical needs. In terms of materialistic value, Amélie is well treated. But she has bigger problems. She isn’t loved. Her father never touches her, except during a monthly check-up, when he puts a stethoscope onto her heart. This brings such a rush, Amélie’s heart begins to go wild every time it happens; causing her dad to think that she has an irregular heartbeat. The story then fast-forwards to a point in time when Amélie is living by herself, and is probably in her late 20’s to mid 30’s. Nothing has much changed – she still has no friends, keeps quiet, and isolates herself from society. But now, her life has spiced up a bit. She is keeping a secret, and is hiding a tin box that she found in her apartment bathroom. She wants to unleash these, but only if their rightful owners will accept. Throughout the movie she uses these things to her advantage, and amusement.

     The direction, by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and cinematography, by Bruno Delbonnel are inspiring. The enchanting visuals go along gorgeously with the mystifying sets that are whimsically delightful. The fabulous coloration and taste are stunning, and combine beautifully with the bizarre, but catchy looking Amélie. French movies have one, beautiful and distinct look to them, which isn’t exactly unique, but it pleases our senses quite well. The European streets and buildings look much more clean and wealthy than ours do, and that’s probably why. It’s nicer to stare at a more well-kept area in a film because it lets us concentrate on the actors more than the scenery. But, in Amélie both are so wonderful to stare at visually, that we are able to balance the two, and thoroughly enjoy them.

     Amélie is a pure film that has the ability to make anyone feel good. It cleverly entwines luck, magic, reality, and unreality. The beautiful premise is lit up by the spectacular direction by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and electrifying cinematography by Bruno Delbonel. The artistic way of making the characters part of the scenery is ingenious. The screenplay is beautifully superb, and shows us true and inspiring filmmaking at work. Audrey Tautou is also flawless in her execution as the unique and stylish Amelie, who has a strange, thoughtful, and ecstatic look. Amélie is, hands down, one of the best movies of the year two-thousand-and-one.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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