¨ Amelie has a strange feeling of absolute harmony. It's a perfect moment. A soft light, a scent in the air, the quiet murmur of the city. A surge of love, an urge to help mankind overcomes her.¨
I didn’t fall in love with Amelie in the same way many critics did, but I did enjoy this wonderful and uplifting movie powered by an interesting script and a great performance from Audrey Tautou. The cinematography is pretty breathtaking as well as it uses a lot of color (green, yellow, and red are predominant) giving the movie the fantastic touch it conveys. This French film was written and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet who had previously worked in the Alien sequel, Alien Resurrection. This is a much better film. It has some great moments of humor, some mysteries that are solved along the way, and several romantic moments. It is a strange movie, but it works and ends up being uplifting. The narration in this film reminded me a lot of Y Tu Mama Tambien, where you had the narrator explain certain events that were happening at the time that didn’t have anything to do with the story. The film was nominated for 5 Oscars in 2002 despite not winning any, but it did win a lot of recognition from international audiences. The movie takes place in Paris and that alone is a plus with such great scenery, and it also has a lot of energy that transcends the screen. It`s hard not to like this small movie.
Amelie (Audrey Tautou) had a difficult childhood; she was raised by her relatively unsocial parents and had little contact with the outside world due to her father`s misdiagnose of a heart condition he thought she suffered. She was homeschooled by her neurotic mother and thus lived practically on her own imagining a world of fantasy. Her mother died in a rather comedic accident when she was young and ended up being raised by her father. Once she turned 18 Amelie moved out and began working at a cafeteria. She doesn’t have many friends since she isn’t good at relating with real people, but one day her life changes when she discovers a small box that was hidden in her bathroom. The box contained some treasures from a boy who had lived in her apartment some fifty years ago. Amelie decides to search for this boy, now a grown man, and give him back the treasure box. When she finds him and sees the positive reaction it has on his life, Amelie decides to become a good doer and help as many people as she can. In this process she falls in love with a man named Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) who has a weird hobby of collecting tossed away pictures from photo booths. Amelie is afraid of speaking to him and idealizes her love for him. Meanwhile she continues to help out as many people as she can including a lonely old neighbor, her father, her co-workers and their love dilemmas, and pretty much anyone she meets in the street that might have a need. Amelie puts their needs above her own and lives with purpose.
Pretty much every character in this film seems to be strange, but it`s not hard to fall in love with them and accept their differences. Amelie seems to enjoy helping out her co-workers to find love, but at the same time has a difficult time to express her own love for Nino. She`s always putting others ahead of her, but as the sang goes ¨You sow what you reap¨ she seems to be destined to find happiness as well. Her life begins to have purpose when she discovers she can bring joy to others, and in the end that is what gives her a sense of joy after so many years of living a quiet and sad life. The movie moves at a really fast pace with a lot of energy combining a lot of comedy with some romantic moments. The performances in this film are great and the characters are all interesting. The music in this film is also catchy and happy some the entire film seems to work as a fantastical love letter where dreams are fulfilled in a rather unconventional way. The film is brilliantly written as well and the screenplay is very original. Amelie is a fun movie that will have you laughing and smiling from beginning to end.