Meet Charming Amelie

Nov 2, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Brilliant, charming, creative and fun.

Cons:None (some sexual situations not appropriate for children)

The Bottom Line: One of the best films I have seen in a long time. Nothing beats a wonderful French film.

Amelie (the American title of French film Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain), the latest French hit, is a delightfully heartwarming, creative and visually stunning film from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

A waifish gamine, Amelie (wonderfully and expressively played by Audrey Tautou) overcomes an isolated and tragic childhood by creating an active fantasy life. She moves to an apartment in Paris and takes a job as a waitress in a local café when she is old enough to leave home.

Surrounded by a motley crew of café regulars and neighbors, Amelie’s life is changed forever on the day that Princess Di meets her death. The collection of wounded humanity, includes: a hypochondriac, a spurned lover, a failed writer, a former circus performer, a sex-shop worker, an angry vegetable seller and his downtrodden assistant, a heartbroken widow and a recluse who re-paints the same picture year after year, Amelie takes on the role of secret guardian-angel/sometimes prankish devil to “fix” the lives of those around her. Discovering in herself a desire to change the reality and perception of the many people in her life, she eventually gains enough strength and courage to seize her own destiny.

Traveling to and from Paris by train to visit her despondent father, we follow Amelie through a multi-colored fantasy world where jewel tones and vibrant colors paint Paris as a cheerful and hopeful city. Jeunet uses film to creatively show Amelie’s fantasies and inner dialogue as well as cast the film firmly in the realm of fantasy.

Other than some sexual situations (it wouldn’t be a French film without them), the message of this film is appropriate for just about everyone. If you don’t leave Amelie smiling then you may not have a pulse.

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