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338
4.6 out of 5 stars
Amelie [DVD] [2001]
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97 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2005
A treasure of a film - a dreamlike suspended reality of a story.
I can't add more about the film that dozens of reviewrs havn't already mentioned , but I must point out the utterly beautiful cinematography of this film with gorgeous intense saturated colour and a 'hyper real' atmosphere in every shot. If you enjoy the 'lomo' style of photography you'll adore every shot of this movie - the whole film is a lomograph. The soundtrack is perfect also, matching the spirit of the film and complimenting every moment perfectly.
I must say I'm shocked by reviewers who could give this only one star, and I find it somewhat depressing. What a grey, dull, cynical world they must live in, where belief cannot be suspended for a moment and one must be locked forever into a hard unchanging reality.
As the film says, 'the times are hard for dreamers.'
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Amelie is the enchanting story of a young Parisian woman who lives a rather solitary, introspective life. Gradually, however, she starts meddling in the lives of her neighbors and co-workers and finds that she loves doing it. She becomes fascinated by an odd young man who collects discarded instant-photos in the train station; with the use of some clever photos of herself, she finds happiness.
Two things make Amelie utterly irresistible: the outstanding script and the talented star. The French-language film is original, very funny, and intelligently written. When Amelie speaks directly to the audience, she is simply adorable. The star, Audrey Tatou, reminds you instantly of Audrey Hepburn. She is petite, perky, and irresistible. I enjoyed hearing the beautiful French spoken in the film; it added to the enjoyment of the film, making it seem lighter and more joyous. Amelie is a cute young lady who will steal your heart with her sweetness and love of life. You will leave the theatre feeling very happy.
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121 of 126 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2003
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2002
I saw Amelie on the big screen and I fell in love with the directors vision of romantic Paris. But I am equally enchanted with the small screen version, and I urge anyone who has been to Paris, and everyone who hasn't to see this film!
It's not mindblowing, it won't fill you with a sense of purpose for a ridiculous cause, but it will leave you with that warm fuzzy glow when you know that life can be cruel, but there ways of escape.
Because that is essentially what the film is for. It allows you to become passionatly involved with the central characters, so much so that you lose yourself for the entire duration. When you rewind the film you are left with an urge to book tickets for the Eurostar or go back to your french speaking classes, just to maintain the moment of escape.
The characterization within the film is so accurate that the characters are like dear friends or despised enemies to you.
I sum this film up, as the only film I have sat through in complete silence. I never felt the need to comment on any part of the film, good or bad, until it had finished. And then you couldn't stop me from extoling it's virtues.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2004
This was the movie that was nominated for a lot of Oscars, but I don't think it got as many as it deserved! It is a truly beautiful movie - beautiful story, beautiful in look and effect and beautiful in narrative as well. I was truly blown away by this movie and I'm sure pleanty of other people will be too.
It's all in French with English subtitles - if you don't like subtitles then this movie isn't for you. If it was dubbed in english though it would spoil it and that would have ruined the whole movie in one sweep. The frenchness of it is an added effect for the english speaking community.
The story is basically about a young waitress trying to make other people's lives happy and succeeds in making you very happy for the 2 hours it is on. This is no a movie but a piece of art worth watching not just for the story but the pure enjoyment you could get from just watching it.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Amélie is the feel good whimsical romantic comedy that has broken all French box office records (around 8 million people in France alone have seen it), charmed many British audiences and is now winning lots of fans in North America. But is it any good? In short, yes. It's very good.
Don't worry about the subtitles, there's no problem in following screenwriters Guillaume Laurant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's plot. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's doe-eyed heroine Amélie (Audrey Tautou) has had a lonely childhood and an unsatisfying love life. Her father is a glum recluse, who never offered her any physical contact, warmth or love (but who cherishes his garden gnome) and her neurotic mother was killed by a suicide jumper who hit her on the way down outside Notre Dame. As a result, Amélie has become wrapped up in her dreams as a way of escaping her lonely life. By day, she waits table at a Montmartre brasserie frequented by many eccentric characters and at night, she goes home alone to a little box flat with a rear window from where she can spy on her neighbours and dream of what their lives must be like. Until one day when she discovers a box of discarded toys left behind in her apartment 40 years ago and begins a search for the man-boy who once owned them. Finding that she can make a difference to other peoples lives, Amélie's own life is given a new purpose and a new vocation but can she find love and happiness for herself?
Some critics have complained that Amélie's is a right wing exercise in nostalgia and that Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's depiction of Montmatre is too lushly perfect, whilst others have criticised it for being nothing more than a rip-off of Jane Austen's Emma. All of these criticisms are unfair (although there are obvious comparisons in the plot that can be made to Emma) and downright offensive. There is no obvious political agenda on display here and so what if the streets of Montmatre are picture postcard friendly? Amélie's Montmartre may just be a dream but it's a beautiful dream. Who cares if in the real France most people eat at Burger King or Mc.Donalds or shop at a supermarket for their groceries? Amélie's Montmartre is an enchanted place, where the water's of the canals are blue and sparkling and the scenery picture perfect.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Director of the much darker Delicatessen and City of Lost Children), has created his own universe and populated it with some wonderfully eccentric characters, thus allowing some of France's finest actors to charm their audience with a proliferation of visual humour and pseudo-philosophical dialogue. In particular, Serge Merlin, the wise old artist from across the street, conjures up magical wisdom and steals most of his scenes, as does Rufus, as Amélie's morose father. However, make no mistake this is the rather beautiful and elfin-like Audrey Tautou's movie and she captures your heart with her big doe-eyes and her mischievous smile and plays the role of Amélie to whimsical perfection.
Amélie will capture your heart; make you smile, make you laugh and send you off into the night glowing happily, with a little bit of faith and hope in life restored. We all like to feel good about ourselves and Amélie is well worth checking out for anybody who enjoys a little romance and dares to dream.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2005
With its wonderfully surreal storyline, outstanding acting & breathtaking cinematography, "Amelie" is a "feel good" movie that achieves exactly what it sets out to do. An international hit and an instant "classic", its first ten minutes on their own rank as one of the funniest and most brilliantly executed sequences in any film.
But... for those of us unable to speak fluent French the problem is simple: the sheer speed of it's superbly witty dialogue leaves you grappling to read the subtitles and, in so doing, seriously diverts your attention away from the equally quick-paced, stunningly directed visuals. Dubbing would have helped at one level but has been wisely avoided as it would totally destroy the key feature of the film - i.e. it is, and could only be, French! The solution?... invest in your own copy. After a couple of times through (with the ever-ready option to "rewind" its more complex scenes), the memory banks take over leaving you free to relish the full impact of this quite beautiful, multi-layered work of genius.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2007
I enjoyed every minute of this film the first time I watched it which is unusual - even the best films often have slow or predictable patches where your mind wanders. This film kept my attention as there was always something different or odd to look at or I was absorbed by the story as it developed. I've enjoyed watching it many times since, picking up on details missed in earlier viewings. I find it quirky, interesting, thought-provoking, charming, entertaining, funny and heart-warming which makes it perfect for a wet Sunday afternoon, curled up on the settee trying to forget that tomorrow is Monday......! Definitely one for the well-rounded DVD collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 February 2004
Notice the sharp difference in opinion between those entranced by Amelie and those finding it a complete turn-off. Excluding people whose prejudice is against the beautiful and poetic French language (or at least, the use of English subtitles), and the critiques boil down to two factors:
1) Some people are unsettled by the visually unstettling stylised approach taken by Jeunet. Like a breath of fresh air, this schematic architecture challenges your assumptions but offers immense rewards and subtle depths that repay closer attention.
2) Others mistake his psychologically forensic character analysis for lack of plot. Let's clear this up once and for all: plot is irrelevant - this is Amelie's search for meaning within her life, though she is reluctant to share in the consequences of her actions - even when they bring happiness to others.
On the surface, Amelie is a charming comedy, but packed with metaphors (like the mystery of the torn photos) that require you to dig deeper and examine Amelie's motivations. Why does she finds it so hard to break the ice with the boy she finds so captivating? Why is she afraid of gaining happiness in her own life? Follow the clues and the film reveals so much more. In short, you can watch it at any level and gain immense satisfaction.
I've now watched this film about half a dozen times now, and notice superbly painted nuances of light and shade, form and content, character and relationships, each time I watch. Compared to 2D Hollywood translations of human relationships, this is a joy to behold and should be treasured.
Not difficult to see why Audrey Tatou felt in danger of being stereotyped as a result of this film - an iconic performance, the Bardot of her day, and one to stay in the memory long after the latest blockbusters have faded away.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2002
The film Amelie surpassed the cliche-ridden Rom-Com with its love of texture in life, its imaginative and wholly believable plot and characterisation.
More than mere 'feel-good' sentimentality, Amelie reached heights of humanness that are fundamental to realising authentic happiness in oneself and in and for others. The motif of being able to find wonder in the apparently mundane and commonplace was, for me, impossible to resist.
The cinematography was spectacular, the dialogue brilliant and the overall sense of joy in so-called ordinary life the film displayed, all contributed to a complete experience of film art at its best.
Amelie showed many aspects of our humanity, but revelled in those capacities that are beautiful and positive, without the attendant insincerity and improbability of tediously formulaic, so-called 'feel-good' movies.
Only a hardened cynic could fail to marvel at Amelie.
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