Amelie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.
The film Amelie
depicts Paris as a magical paradise for lovers and so needed music of the utmost tenderness but with a quirky edge befitting the title character. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet chanced upon the music of Yann Tiersen one day and bought his entire catalogue. That ultimately translated into this gloriously upbeat soundtrack largely culled from four of Tiersen's albums. Half the cues have been previously released, but arguably never in such splendid context. Accordion and piano are the score's instruments of choice and are woven into a beautiful whole none of the individual albums achieved before. The Neil Hannon collaboration ("Les Jours tristes" from L'Absente
) is a big bouncy number that expands upon itself incessantly. It's about as big as the music gets, since this accompanied one of the jolliest moments in the film. The greater part is concerned with Amelie's innocent infatuations and is therefore subtler. A couple of nice examples of the album's overall style are "Sur le Fil", a lovely melancholy piano melody, and "La Dispute" where mournful solo accordion switches tone by piano. At the heart of it all is the best of Tiersen's new material for the film with "La Valse d'Amelie". It has three variations, but is most affecting in its original incarnation for accordion and small ensemble. It makes the film's finale, this disc and the idea of a trip to Paris utterly charming. --Paul Tonks