The fabulous tale of Amelie Poulain is a heart-warming story of a girl who chooses to go on a mission to bring a little happiness to the people in her life, without any thought to her own. Unlike more traditional 'feel-good' movies from overseas (particularly the US), however, "Amelie" is finely crafted and has a sense of panache and flair.
Jeunet's eye for spotting rare and beautiful moments that happen around us every day, doesn't miss a trick. In 'Amelie', he reminds us of the simple pleasures that we all enjoyed as children, and forgot about as we grew into adulthood. It is this theme, more than any other that repeats constantly during the film.
The people in Amelie's world are quirky and eccentric, yet set in typical mundane lives. Everyone has a hidden wonder beneath them, and in Amelie's quest, nobody is spared. Dreams are fulfilled, lovers are united, broken hearts mended and lost treasures are reconciled with their once-jaded owners, and the clever and intricate methods by which Amelie performs her tasks will leave you smiling from ear to ear.
For instance, a scene that will stay in my heart is when Amelie helps a blind man to cross the road. As she does so, she starts describing in vivid detail, the scenes surrounding them both as they walk down a busy Parisian street. Such a simple gesture, yet handled by Jeunet, it becomes a treasured moment. The scene only lasts 10-15 seconds, but will leave you feeling warm, and almost saddened at the everyday sights that you take for granted and never notice.
All in all, the acting (Audrey Tatou in particular), is amazing, the camerawork and direction is stunning (only to be expected of Jeunet's work, such as "Delicatessen" & "City of Lost Children") and the ideas behind the film are ingenious and yet very simple.
In a world where "Civilisation" is rapidly becoming just a tag-line for "Capitalism", and where the main rule seems to be "Look after number 1", "Amelie" really does do a great job of reminding us that there is a child inside us all, and that child still wants to play.