What can I say about this film that hasn’t been said before? Amélie isn’t without it’s praise from film critics all over the world. It took home two BAFTAs and was nominated for five Oscars. When it comes to films that would try to imitate its style, pacing, and atmosphere, it went untouched. Amélie holds its place and its delightful quirks will never be duplicated. It’s unique, and always shall be to those who’ve seen it.
Amélie was released in 2001. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and written by him as well, along with Guillaume Laurant. It stars the wonderful Audrey Tautou as the titular character. It’s been labeled as a romantic comedy, but please just throw that idea out. It is so many things more than that. It has mystery, comedy, drama, and classical romance. Visually, the film is beautiful. One of the first films I remember seeing that had an art style that was clear but still subtle. And of course, a perfect score by Yann Tiersen, who’s music in this film can spark emotions in the viewer.
The story of Amélie Poulain stars off while she is a little girl with perhaps the most imaginative perspective of daily life. Watching her experience those moments, which for plenty of us are all too familiar is something that when done right, can make us emotional. Many of us had a pet we had to give away, or a parent we lost too early on. It also reminds us of the incredible imaginations we had as children. When we didn’t know how something was made, in our heads we just pictured it was made with some form of magic. Amélie is no different. She warps the world with her mind to keep it interesting, and luckily for her, she manages to keep this wild imagination as she grows up.
Her adult life is a simple one. She works at a restaurant where she gets along well with her co-workers and the familiars, who all have their own interesting histories and personalities. Amélie’s life goes on, but she is suddenly shocked with the sudden death of Princess Diana. It sparks a series of events that leads to her wanting to help people, without anyone knowing she was helping them. With the help of an elderly neighbour who is usually locked up in his apartment due to having weak bones, she is able to track down a past tenant of her apartment and return to him a box filled with mementos from his childhood. It triggers something in her and it takes her on a beautiful adventure.
The film is a bundle of fun, and that can’t be said enough. I could sit here and write out everything that happens, but I feel for a movie as great at this, it just needs to be experienced. It is one of the most pleasant feel good films I have ever seen. I couldn’t recommend it enough. Take a chance, and watch Amélie. With the subtitles, not the English dub. Have a great time with it.
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