Amélie (2001) Poster

(2001)

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10/10
This is rated so highly cause it deserves it
Boyo-21 March 2003
A slice of heaven right here on earth, "Amelie" is a joy to behold, and has some of the most gorgeous cinematography I've ever seen in a movie.

Audrey Tatou is perfection as the title character. A combination of Audrey Hepburn, Dolly Levi and Roger Rabbit, she involves herself in the world surrounding her as a means of really enjoying living. There are moments when she finds complete and total joy just walking down the street.

Some of it is hilarious, too..like when her pet goldfish habitually tries to commit suicide, or when she is on the telephone with the man at the porno shop, or when a character is asked "Are you a congenital shmuck"?

But for the most part, its a human comedy, about love, of course.

Just beautiful. 10/10.
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9/10
Finds its charm in the little things
rbverhoef14 August 2004
'Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain' finds its charm in the little things. The story about Amélie (Audrey Tautou) is a modern day fairy tale and that is exactly how it looks the entire film.

We have a wonderful story about Amélie who decides to help people around her, making them happy. Not by doing great big things or giving money, but by little things. She helps her father by making him believe that his gnome from the garden is on a trip around the world, she helps a lonely neighbor by just visiting him, she helps a stranger by returning something she found in her home. On the way she falls in love with Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) who's hobby it is to collect photos from automatic photo booths. Photos that were tossed away because people thought they didn't look good enough. He puts all those photos and pieces of photos in a big book. There is a little mystery in the book as well, of course I will not spoil that for you. The story is not only sweet and charming, it has some great moments of comedy as well.

The movie looks colorful and bright almost constantly. Even the sad parts from Amélie's life, her youth for example, look almost strangely happy. In this world, Paris actually, Audrey Tautou is the perfect inhabitant. She has one of those faces that seem to smile the entire time. She looks like she just pulled a joke and she is waiting for you to find out what it is. In a way her character is really doing that here so it does not feel strange.

In short 'Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain' is charming, funny, romantic bright and full of life. This is the perfect lighthearted movie.
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10/10
What is left to say about this glorious joy ride?
wisewebwoman15 March 2002
I had heard superlative comments on this film and it does not disappoint.

Paris is the backdrop and what a Paris, A Paris of La Boheme and the Merry Widow. Audrey is brilliant in the role of Amelie, projecting a true joie de vivre.

The film is full of surprises in both plot and characters. I left the theatre feeling lighter. It is truly one of a kind, eccentric, unusual and uplifting. I will not say more on it as it would spoil the fun.

I gave it a 10 out of 10 for something so completely out of the ordinary and so very unhollywood.
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10/10
A hilarious, warm movie in a world all its own.
alastair_m19 December 2001
Not a lot of movies create their own sort of universe. Some that come to mind include "The Wizard of Oz", "American Beauty" and "Vertigo." These movies are so distinct and original that they seem to have created there own spot in the universe, untouchable by anything else. You can add "le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" to that list.

Here is a film so original, so funny, and so warm that it left me with smiling for hours and the people on the sidewalk thinking I was crazy. Yes it is heart warming, but not in the phony Wal-Mart commercial sense; but in the sense of how good you feel when laughing with a dear, dear friend.

The film tells the story of French waitress Amélie (Audrey Tautou.) She is in her early twenties, lead a gloomy childhood and is missing something in her life until hearing of the Death of Princess Diana causes her to drop the cap of a bottle which rolls along the floor and dislodges a tile on her bathroom wall. What she finds behind that tile leads her to the decision that she is going to do what she can to make the people around her happier by whatever means possible.

Amélie goes about this with great success. One particularly wonderful scene shows Amélie helping a blind man across the street and rapidly describing what's happening around them to give him a picture of the world he doesn't get to see. This is only one in a mountain of selfless deeds she does to make people happy.

As she continues enriching the lives around her, Amélie becomes challenged with the fact that if she only helps others anonymously, she may live her life alone and without the happiness she brings others.

Amélie's conflict is what rounds out the picture and makes it complete. The movie is deep and takes Amélie's inner struggle seriously, but it's never heavy. Brilliantly hilarious, "Amélie" has a wonderfully funny script and is brought to life in visual splendor by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet ("Alien: Resurrection", of all things) and has at its center Audrey Tatou giving one of the warmest, most sincere and funniest performances you'll see this year.

I can't tell you how much I love this movie. Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps and I can't wait to see it again. SEE IT IN THE THEATRE IF YOU CAN! This may be the year's best picture and is not to be missed.
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10/10
She makes ME fall in love too!
mucronate2 January 2003
To start off with, I heard a lot of good things about this movie when it was on the big screens but never got around to see it before it disappeared. Sitting here, long after in the aftermath, I might never forgive myself for missing that opportunity. Eventually I did get around to see it, though a small TV never does a film the same justice a theater does, and being a bit sceptic about the small hype this movie caused made me prejudice about it, but I must say I have never been so wrong before. And I am happy saying it.

This movies biggest crime, and yet its biggest asset, is that it is in French. Subtitles just does not bring full justice to a movie like this, and it is bound to scare off most of the audience not used to subtitled movies. Sad to say so, but I believe it is the truth. I do not know any French at all, but I sure wish I was fluent watching this movie!

Compared to most other films "Amelie" (and I will stick to "Amelie" since "Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" is a bit long to write) is based on a rather ordinary and plain story everyone can relate to, but it is given to us in a very special kind of way, mixed with wonderful little subplots and an almost chaotic amount of details. We get to see and experience the world and especially Paris through the filtering eyes and fantasy of Amelie, A Paris that might feel small and limited on the screen but in fact is just as big as it is in the eyes of Amelie.

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet brings to life the world of Amelie with colors, masterful camerawork and a few special effects (Well, I have certainly felt like melting a couple of times too in my life!). Some people I spoke to before seeing "Amelie" criticized it for being too childish and unrealistic, but I believe it is an essential part of the movie since Amelie herself is a very childish and imaginative young girl. She just happens to fall in love one day when she decides to embark on a quest. Jean-Pierre Jeunet manages to bring us along without losing control of the set or the plot. It is exactly this kind of movie that could easily be overdone and lose all of its magic in the hands of the wrong person, but Jean-Pierre Jeunet never slips a single time. For you who think you never heard of him before he is actually the same man who brought us "Alien 4" back in 1997, (I still refuse to believe he was involved in that horrible film...), and the wonderful "Delicatessen" in 1991.

Audrey Tautou could not be overemphasized for her importance in portraying Amelie. I am a bit embarrassed admitting it but I was almost falling in love with Amelie myself, forgetting she was only fiction on the screen. However she does not carry "Amelie" solely by herself. The cast makes an excellent whole and it is hard imagining switching anyone without affecting the whole outcome. Everyone manages to make the most out of their role and even though we only get to know some of them briefly they come alive just as much as Amelie herself does.

I could go on forever about "Amelie". It contains so many details and switches in tempo and camerawork it has to be seen more than once to take in and understand everything. Damn it, "Amelie" made me happy, laughing out loud at times, and very few movies affects me like that.

I very rarely give movies a 10, and I was indeed considering a 9 for a while, but for me this is one of those movies I will come back to time after time. Long after the CG thrills of hyped fantasy movies and big budget Hollywood productions have faded and been forgotten, Amelie will still be jumping around in my heart, doing all those silly and charming little things I wish I dared to do too...
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10/10
Audrey Tautou is magical
ztruk200127 March 2005
Amelie is a film that struck a certain chord with me. Every now and then movies come along that speak out to you and emotionally touch you in some way. Amelie is one such film for me. I related to its innocent charm and delightfully shy protagonist played by French sensation Audrey Tautou, the way very few films have. Part of the reason we watch movies is to learn something about ourselves or recognize characters that are remarkably similar to us and the way we are in real life. For all of us shy, introverted, quirky, and odd-ball eccentrics out there who have trouble relating to "normal" people, Audrey Tautou in this film is our personal hero. Instead of going into much detail about why the film works, I'll instead try to explain what it meant to me personally. Sure I guess this means I have to open up maybe more than I'd like to about myself, but oh well. The way Amelie's childhood was presented is similar to my own. I am an only child to divorced parents and very rarely had friends as I was and still am very much a loner. As a child much of my time was spent alone so I entertained myself in all kinds of silly ways. Just like Amelie does in the film. Of course I gained my fixation with films at an extremely early age, but also did stupid things like give my stuffed animals personalities and have conversations with them, draw pictures and create stories to go along with them, and laid in bed listening to the radio with the windows open on a lazy summer day imagining creatures out of the cloud formations. Apparently there are legions of us out there. Even today I enjoy solitude far more than the company of most people and still use my imagination to think of stupid little things. Amelie did an amazing job in capturing what the world is like through the eyes of a person who doesn't really fit in, but finds joy in the simple things in life. Like the fresh spring breeze on your face, the sound of the rain, the chirping of birds, the touch of fur, and popping bubble wrap. Actually popping bubble wrap was always an exciting and rare treat during my youth. Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film also has a marvelously fun nifty view of sex. For Amelie sex is not something that is intimidating, temptingly desirable, sinful, adult, or lustful. It's just another of the many silly things that people do in this world that make us human. Two people taking off their cloths and rubbing up against one another. How sweet! In fact many people have insulted the film for it's unique view and open attitude towards sex. For shame really. Sure there's a lot of it actually. Amelie's first sexual encounter, the orgasms, the object of her affection working in a porn shop with a stripper and putting price tags on didoes. But it's all in good fun and filmed with the naivety that a character like Amelie would view sex as. Anyways the movie really works. Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel does an excellent job in filming Jeunet's crazy vision and Audrey Tautou with her funky hairdo, wide brown eyes, and whimsical voice and kitten like mannerisms and shyness brings the movie to life. As I said I relate to this movie and understand the character the way I do with few other movies simply because it is frighteningly very much like I tend to be in real life.

"You mean she would rather imagine herself relating to an absent person than build relationships with those around her?"

Hmm, so would I sometimes. Audrey Tautou's been a more reliable friend than most people and has put a smile on my face and lightened my day at the thought of her more times than one. And I still say I'll marry her one day.
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10/10
Hearthwarming
perica-4315120 July 2018
This gem is one of the most memorable French movies of the new millennium. Amelie wears its heartwarming charm in best way possible. If you have not seen this movie, go and see it now.
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It's my favorite movie of all time...
emilio773 December 2002
Short analysis on Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

For 20 years Jean-Pierre Jeunet collected small astonishing and intriguing moments in his life, taking notes in his diary, not knowing that he was up to co-write and direct one of the most successful film in French film history. Jean-Pierre Jeunet fell in love with the story and the film he titled Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain. But it's popularity was even a surprise to Jean-Pierre Jeunet himself as he once stated: `I guess I have to produce a film like Alien Resurrection (USA 1997) to make a movie like Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain', obviously not aware of the films potential. Unfortunately the film didn't win an Academy Award for the best foreign film in 2001 which still puzzles film fans all over the world.

I consider Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film as a masterpiece. In my opinion, it is an outstanding film in film history for its cinematography, the music, the story, but above all the overall atmosphere. Going to the cinema is like meditating. We sit for over one-hour and comfortable chair - our breath slows down and as the lights are switched off, we enter a dream world. We seek to escape our normal world just for a short period of time, to experience something totally different and yet, we want to find ourselves in this world. Thanks to Jean-Pierre Jeunet I had a wonderful dream, I will never forget.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet and his camera man, Bruno Delbonnel, wanted to make the film look like the Spanish painter did his artwork. To establish a dreamlike atmosphere they used mostly red and green, sometimes adding a little blue spot in the picture to set the contrast. Audrey Tautou (Amélie Poulain), mostly wears either red or green dresses, as well as the housekeeper (Yolande Moreau as Madelaine Wallace, concierge), and Amélie's mother (Lorella Cravotta as Amandine Poulin) in the beginning of the film. When Amélie Poulain sits down to watch the tragedy of her life on her TV, there is an outstanding of a blue lamp in the background. Sometimes the use of color gets very obvious. Amélie's apartment for example is almost completely red, the underground station and the train station are kept in green and the green grocery store stands out from the grey buildings. Honestly, I haven't noticed the extreme use of color the first time I watched the movie. I just wondered how Jeunet succeeded in establishing such a fabulous atmosphere.

The atmosphere is also supported by the magnificent music by Yann Tiersen who has composed 19 songs in 15 days for this movie. The principal motive appears in many variations somehow being joyful, yet at the same time sad - slow and sometimes fast and activating. The music supports every moment in the film and becomes the sound of a fabulous world.

Camera movement certainly contributes its part to the atmosphere. Balanced and unbalanced pictures contribute to the message of each shot. Right in the beginning when Amélie's mother is introduced, the picture is balanced symbolizing her pursuit for correctness and cleanliness. The same can be about the first shots of Amélie's father. When talking about his dislikes, the shots are unbalanced. But more impressing are some camera movements. For example there is an astonishing high angle shot of Amélie flipping stones on le canal in Paris. The camera shows her leaning on a fence, flying above her head then craning to a low angle shot to show her flipping stones in the direction of the camera. Another one worth mentioning might be the chase of the repairs person. Nino is shown falling up the steps chasing the repairs person for the photo machines. The camera turns to show the man getting in the car driving off. Still in a low angle Nino starts his moped, trying to follow the worker, almost hitting a car. Amélie is entering the picture running after Nino. The camera follows her, then turning almost 180° around her to show her hold Nino's red bag that he lost. When Amélie sits in front of the station, we see her in a long shot, the camera dollies in to fly over her head to an over-the-shoulder shot. Some of these camera movements are really awesome, not only from a technical point of view, but moreover from an aesthetic standpoint. They support the dreamlike atmosphere, adding interesting aspects to ordinary actions.

Audrey Tautou at the age of 23 is an astonishing actress. I really can't imagine anybody doing the job better than she did. To me she is not only giving life to the character, she lives it. It's wonderful to watch her. There was no moment when I had the faintest impression that there is something wrong or inappropriate in her acting. Also Mathieu Kassovitz as Nino Quincampoix is extraordinarily gifted with his talent. Most of the actors have done a wonderful job, although I want to mention the scene when Amélie's mother gets her nervous breakdown because of the suicidal fish. This scene appeared to me exaggerated which it probably was intended to be. Anyhow, the extreme close-up of Yolande Moreau was to intriguing to me, so I shrug back in disgust rather than laughing about it. I gues this was the director's choice, so I don't hold her responsible for that.

Another negative and distracting thing where some scenes when Jean-Pierre Jeunet decided to show the key in Amélie's pocket after copying it and bringing the original key back to the grocer's door in a very unrealistic way. He uses a digital effet showing the key's silhouette in a yellow light. This is a technique that hasn't been used very often in the film, except for showing Amélie's heart going faster and the old, blind man feeling very happy after being guided by Amélie. All these scenes disturb the otherwise wonderful cinematography. There could have been other ways to communicate the actions. A simple smile on the old's man face, a close-up of Amélie's hand letting the copied key slide into her pocket and the heart beat as a background sound would have done the same without disturbing the atmosphere.

Anyway, Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain is still my favorite movie. The narration is perfectly arranged taking its time to tell every detail. I enjoyed the subplots a lot that are told in a subtle way. Maybe the introduction is a bit to long, but still I enjoyed every second. Maybe I am too used to typical Hollywood productions, where you can tell the stages of a story by watching the clock. Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain has its own rhythm driving the story forward not by a superhero trying to achieve his goal, but by a hero that knows that she has time to arrange everything by strategic means. Maybe that is also one reason why I like this film so much. The story is told with time and not against time. There is no last minute-rescue, no time pressure, no need to act. It just takes its time as life does.

In my opinion, Jean-Pierre Jeunet created a masterpiece. A film that is not only outstanding because of the cinematography, the special effects or any other technical characteristics, but also combines the perfection of craftsmanship with a wonderful story, humour, and emotion.
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10/10
She. Captivates Us All
Hitchcoc9 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
There seems to be a movement afoot to diminish ratings on films, even if they are reasonably good. So someone looks at the 250 best films list and rather than actually review and give any sort of subjective review, they give it a one so they can sabotage the rating. This is a charming movie. It's not for everyone, but it is creative and kind and has a wonderful love story. Criticize a away, but to call a person with a desire to do good, even if she invades the spaces of people, a psychopath! Really. I guess that's the curse of the public forum. For those actually interested in the movie, it involves a young woman who has been sheltered by her parents. When the mother is killed by a falling body, she is left to her own designs. Her father is cold and disinterested and she must fend for herself. She becomes an observer of life and begins to formulate her own being. Her decision making is based on her personal journey and, in some cases, a lack of real education. She is a waif but only wants to do good. One of the most creative and loving movies ever produced.
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10/10
This Movie can CHANGE your life :-)
jilske24 December 2001
A year ago, if someone would have asked me "What is your favorite movie ?" , I would not have known what to answer exactly, maybe Fight Club, maybe Vertigo, Indiana Jones even would have come to my mind.

Since June, I have but one answer: 'Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain' !!! It is simply unique in his kind. And now it has come out in the US, I am a bit frightened, because everybody there describes it as a simple 'feel-good movie'. It is so much more than that ! Never before has a movie INFLUENCED my life in such a way. Audrey's performance is simply stunning... she plays with an innocence, a wit, a smartness and naïvity that even someone with 40 years experience could not have done better. (please, will someone give an oscar to that girl, she makes Kidman & Blanchett look pale :-) The score from Yann Tiersen is so beautiful that by now I'm addicted to it ( I read here somewhere something about 'accordeon jingle', please, get some education ;-). The story itself could easily have been abused, and I'm sure that if Hollywood had made this movie, it would have been ridiculous, but now it is a beauty, a pearl amidst broken hearts.

This movie is for everyone who understands passion or who has lost his/her childhood somewhere along the way. If you love art & music, sunshine & poetry than you are qualified for seeing this movie, be warned though...this movie can change your life (and maybe..it will ;-)!

Audrey is superb, Matthieu is better than himself, every actor gives a stunning performance, the scenery is beautiful, the whole movie is amusing, entertaining and charming, even CGI is perfectly done ! 10 out of 10 !!!

a 21-year-old Amélie fan who can enjoy the little things in life again
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10/10
Amelie innocently skips stones in the canal and you realize that this deserves all the hype
yaseminturkish18 February 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Waiting for `Amelie' to begin in a theater fraught with noisy college students drinking cheap beer, I wasn't expecting anything more than an over-hyped flick from our friends in France. I slowly began to realize as I watched Amelie skip stones in the canal that for the very first time, a film deserved all of hype it had been accorded and more, and I felt so blessed to be a part of this revelation.

Possible Spoilers

It's hard to put into words how much I loved `Amelie.' I felt as though I were sitting next to Monet, watching as he effortlessly splashed brilliant watercolors across his canvas. I had this strange but fantastic feeling of being inside the mind of Amelie, seeing everything in the vibrant colors she viewed life with, and wanting to remain there much longer than the two hours allotted. It was just so refreshing to watch a movie where your imagination was free to soar rather than feel confused by the apparent deja vu from last year's first installment of the same pointless drivel.

I almost always loathe films with subtitles as I feel that they get in the way of viewing the characters actions and facial expressions. `Amelie' is the first film where I adored the subtitles and in fact, had a nagging urge to go out and learn French that is still with me today. Much of this can be attributed to the delightful Audrey Tatou. Her expressive eyes and sweet caring nature provided the viewer with fond memories of Audrey Hepburn and prevented me from being distracted by the subtitles. Could a 23 year old actress with little experience be just as fantastic as Meryl Streep and Katharine Hepburn? I really wasn't expecting it but Audrey Tatou revitalized my interest in film and left me wondering why her name didn't appear on Academy ballots and what possessed the Academy to favor `No Man's Land.'

An already perfect film couldn't get much better but along with the lovingly created cinematography and delight of rising star Tatou came the wonderful story of a true do-gooder. `Amelie' is a film that begs you to get happy and should give some short-term contentment to even the most depressed of individuals. Little moments like the tragically funny early years of Amelie are very special and the best I've seen on the silver screen. The scene where Amelie is skipping stones in the canal should be studied for years to come as the greatest technical moment in cinema.

Movies like this one don't come around very often. Perhaps the creators of films that pander to dumbed-down audiences who apparently can't tell that their watching last year's film should take the hint. The movie-going public wants to be inspired and wants to be provided with the same imagination they have when reading a great novel. This is why `Amelie' remains #18 on the list of best films.

10/10
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the splendid grace
Kirpianuscus24 December 2015
the grace is the fundamental virtue of film. a grace as result of humor, childhood's crumbs, profound faith and love and joy and an actress who explores in wise manner each part from her character. a film who remains adorable for its deep force of freedom, high art and translation of every day reality in the right language who preserves the tools of fairy tale. a film about life as miracle. useful . charming. extraordinary. because it discover and not propose. because it is a crazy, magnificent trip in the essence of things. because it has not a specific genre. because it seems be only one of beautiful spring mornings.
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6/10
Very forgettable romance flick.
Kdosda_Hegen14 May 2020
I loved the style of it. This film is very colourful, the editing is interesting, the music and camera work is great. For the story I'm not too fond. The protagonist girl is playing with other characters, to some she sets traps, to some she plays with their feelings and minds, to some he gives clues and mystery. It's all a game for her. I wouldn't call this a romance movie at all, more like bland adventure movie.
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5/10
A stylish movie but the story was dull
MK_Movie_Reviews15 November 2021
While watching this movie, I felt like watching an art gallery or interior magazine. I could tell the filmmaker was very particular about the visuals and colors. But storytelling was not so impressive. This was one of the high-rated movies but it's overrated to me. So I gave 5 stars and just one time is enough to watch this movie.
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6/10
Quintessential quirky French cinema
smatysia8 January 2003
Amelie is the quirky main character, who seems to go on a binge of "random acts of kindness" except that they aren't so random, and some are kind of mean. It is reasonably enjoyable, and probably worth a rental. I cannot fathom its ranking, though. I think that films should maybe be a few years old before being eligible for the top films of all times lists, like the top 250. I looked through that list and there are some new films which will be utterly forgotten in 20 years. I fear that "Amelie" will be among them. Grade: C
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10/10
French
bevo-1367816 June 2020
I Loved this movie. The words, the colour, the girl
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9/10
Just plain weird...and I mean that in a good way.
planktonrules7 June 2009
Considering that there are a bazillion reviews for this film already, I really don't think it's that important that I do an in-depth review of this film. It is already well in the top 100 films on IMDb, so it's obviously a very good film.

Instead of the usual view of the film, I'll talk about it from a psychological perspective. Amélie is a nice lady who is severely hindered by an Avoidant Personality. This means that she's so worried about being rejected by others that she always keeps her distance from them--particularly anyone who could become intimate. In other words, instead of being actively involved with others, she lives a life of quiet desperation--hoping that somehow things will work themselves out but completely terrified to act. So, she sublimates her energy into doing things to help others--but always at a distance and anonymously. Most of the things she does for others are very quirky and strange--but ultimately very helpful and kind. In one of the cases, however, she attempts to gain retribution for an emotionally abused young man through passive-aggressive actions. Fortunately for her, she meets a man who is also Avoidant (his hobby is very detached yet shows an interest in others)...but how can two such obvious misfits who are afraid of commitment find a way to connect?!

Aside from the psychological aspects of the film, I really appreciated the look of the film. The odd 1930s style of Amélie's clothing and the homes in the film, the choice of colors (with lots of sepia tones), the cinematic tricks and the quirky little gimmicks (such as the pictures and lamp in her room coming to life) all help to make this a magical picture that you cannot forget.

Overall, a delight. Oddly, however, despite the very high rating, I think that Audrey Tautou mas made better films, such as HE LOVES ME...HE LOVES ME NOT and A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT.
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4/10
Annoying
kenjha17 November 2009
A smug-faced Parisian pixie with a tenuous grasp of reality decides she is going to influence other people's lives whether they like it or not. Amelie has got to be one of the most annoying characters in recent cinema. She is mousy, meddlesome, mean, and manipulative - and these characteristics are supposed to make her lovable. The film operates under the concept that quirky equals charming. The narration is supposed to be cute and funny, but is grating instead. The plot rambles on pointlessly. The director repeatedly uses zooms and weird sound effects to convey some sort of whimsical film-making but manages to simply be distracting. It's unbelievable that this won an Oscar.
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Wittily observed and quirky romance that's imaginative and sweet
bob the moo29 December 2003
Amélie grows up a slightly introverted child as a result of her unusual parents. When she grows up she has her own unusual habits and quirks. When she finds a hidden box of childhood toys in her house she decides to track down the owner and return it to him. Seeing the happiness that she brings to him she resolves to work in secret to make other people happy. However can she be happy herself?

I wasn't sure what to expect with this film - I'd heard others raving on the boards about it but didn't even know the most basic of plot details about it, I didn't even know who the director was. When the opening credits rolled and I saw that it was Jeunet as director I immediately realised that this may not be as straightforward as I had thought. Almost immediately, the different humour comes through in lots of ways - from little things like the way the cameras moves up to the full script. The plot doesn't totally work and some of the strands are a little unclear, but overall the film really works well as an alternative romance that is as sweet as it is quirky.

The influence of Jeunet is the main reason the film works as well as it does. He tones down his usual darker style and delivers something just as different and unusual but much lighter and refreshing. As writer he does a great job coming up with imaginative characters and situations. The other reason it works so well is through the performance of Tautou; she is such a wide eyed innocent - sweet without being sickly and likable without taking away from her quirkiness. The support cast are all good and features a few Jeunet regulars but really it is Tautou's film and she carries it well thanks to the great work of the director.

Overall this is a surprisingly sweet film that took me by surprise and was sweetly charming and lovely without falling into cliché - it was different and quirky in a refreshingly enjoyable way. If you come to this expecting one of `the greatest films ever made' then you may be a little surprised because the film is quite unassuming and is best enjoyed when you come to it fresh.
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9/10
One of the Sweetest and Most Original Movies of Cinema History
claudio_carvalho10 April 2009
In 1974, in Enghien in the northern suburbs of Paris, the girl Amélie Poulain was born and raised alone by her cold hearted father and her stressed mother due to a mistake of her father's evaluation of her heart conditions. Her mother dies in a weird accident and when the shy and daydreamer Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) becomes a young woman, she moves to central Paris and works as waitress in the café Deux Moulins in Montmartre. On 30 August 1997, Amélie finds a child treasure hidden behind the wall that belonged to a dweller from the 50's, and she decides to anonymously return it to the owner. He seeks out the man and when she witnesses his happiness, she decides to become the "godmother of the rejected", anonymously helping people that are her acquaintances using her fantasy and little tricks. She convinces her father to travel abroad using his garden gnome; she helps her neighbor that is an outcast and lonely painter and the super that misses her unfaithful husband; she also helps her hypochondriac colleague that works in the tobacco shop and the man that stalks the other waitress acting like cupid; she plays pranks to an employer that mistreats his employee with abusive relationship. When Amélie finds the album of photos of an intriguing collector that collects rejected photos in the Photomaton of the Gare de l'Est, she seeks him out and falls in love with him. On 28 September 1997, Amélie Poulain finds love.

"Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain" is certainly one of the sweetest and most original movies of cinema history. The surrealistic screenplay is stunning and it is impossible not falling in love for the character performed by the expressive Audrey Tautou. The direction and the acting are top-notch, supported by awesome camera work and the cinematography, excellent edition and magnificent soundtrack. This is a delightful romance even when you watch it for the second time, My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "O Fabuloso Destino de Amelie Poulain" ("The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain")
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9/10
Incredibly Adorable & Phenomenally Fantastic...
Xstal4 June 2022
If ever there was a film to make you smile, grin and beam from ear to ear with such great style, as a delightful Amelie, shows immense tenacity, helping those who need a break with joy and glee!

One of the most enjoyable films you'll ever have the pleasure to devour.
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3/10
A psychiatric cocktail of lunacy
billion_mucks10 February 2018
Please do not be fooled: Amelie is sick in the head. The titular character has very palpable schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive dissorder and I believe some autism too.

She behaves more like an alien in a flesh suit, than a person. The world she lives in is brightly overexposed, yellow, sacharine and tragically depressing.

She belongs in a nuthouse, and the movie should be a documentary about her lunacy. I know she is not a real person and a movie character, but someone please end her suffering.
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8/10
Brilliant Colors
ccthemovieman-117 February 2008
If ever I needed a movie dubbed, this one would be it. Normally, I prefer subtitles, but the visuals in here are so incredible that trying to read the subtitles distracts me from taking in all there is to see.

Man, there is a lot to see: brilliant, beautiful colors in scene-after-scene. They alone make this DVD worth owning. The story is decent, pretty interesting but nothing super. The humor is "French," meaning different from what we normally laugh at in North America. The story also, to be honest, gets frustrating after awhile, as Amelie goes on too long with her charade. If you've watched it, you know what I mean.

However, this is so uniquely and beautifully filmed that I can put up with a so-so story. As the lead actress, Audrey Tautou, is cute and fun to watch and the addition of humor to the romance story helps. There is almost no profanity in here and a few very quick nude shots which must be the reason for the "R" rating, otherwise it would be an easy "PG."

In summary, a pleasant film that is a feast for the eyes.
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8/10
A nice little film
bigspeegs11 January 2002
Rating: ***1/2 out of ****

What a fun film! From the moment it begins, "Amelie" bursts with joy and energy. It's a fable of sorts, a love letter to a Paris fondly dreamt of by many. It may not be the real world, but it is such a delightful fantasy that it doesn't matter how unbelievable some of it may be. "Amelie" is the rare romantic comedy that has both the romance and the comedy. It isn't very surprising that this has been a hit in France for a while now, and I have no doubt it will find the audience it needs in the States as well.

Amelie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) is a nave girl working at the Two Windmills Caf. When she was a child her mother and teacher was an innocent victim of a suicide gone awry. Amelie stayed with her father until she was old enough to leave and lead a life of her own. One day she finds a small box of treasures behind a tile in her wall, she decides to return it to her owner and become a natural do-gooder. Later on, she catches a man groping for lost photos under a photo booth (Nino Quincampoix, played by Mathieu Kassovitz), and it's love at first sight. She decides to go on a quest to find this man and help anyone she can along the way (including her father and co-workers).

I said before that this film was a love letter to Paris, it is also a love letter to Amelie herself. Jean-Pierre Jeunet (director and co-screenwriter) conjured the film like a dream, as if Amelie is his dream girl and he is trying to save her and bring her to a happy ending. It's not hard to want everything to work out for her and her friends. Amelie Poulain is the kind of person who you wish was your best friend, your neighbor or your sister. She bounces along with good grace and whimsy living life to its fullest, yet keeping a mischievous grin. She has her own idea of justice that isn't very disagreeable. The tormentors must in turn be tormented; the lifeless must be brought to life. The film is like a non-musical "Bells Are Ringing", with our heroine bringing so much life to those around her but neglecting her wants and needs.

After seeing Audrey Tautou as Amelie, I can't possibly imagine anyone else in that role. She embodies Amelie like no one else could, she is a rare find that pulls off the job of breathing life into Amelie in spades. Wait, I take that back. She does not just breathe life into Amelie, Tautou makes her jump off the screen and pull the audience into the story. It would be a crime for her not to get a Best Actress nomination for her role.

Magical is the world that Amelie lives in, where photos and lamps come alive to aid her quest, where TV shows are showing nothing but her story. The story this setting surrounds is pretty standard, and presented plainly could have just been another machine-processed romantic comedy. Is it too sappy? No. On the contrary, the film takes quite a few steps to make sure it doesn't become tacky or conventional. The rich, storybook setting and a witty screenplay (asides are taken to deepen our connection each character, little things that each likes and dislikes) make the film all the more a delight to watch. The cinematography, crafted by Bruno Delbonnel, does wonders for "Amelie". The camera captures the action with an eye of a child in a candy store, beautifully bringing about each shot as a new discovery.

With films like "The Widow of Saint-Pierre", "With a Friend Like Harry" and box-office hit "Brotherhood of the Wold", French cinema has had quite a year. It's a delight that we round off the year with "Amelie", a fresh, funny journey that could have easily just been more Meg Ryan-esque romantic comedy fodder. If not for anything else, see it for Tautou's performance, but prepare to be smothered in a dream world.
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7/10
Pleasant fluff, but WAY overrated!!!
bopdog16 January 2002
There are no complaints when watching "Amelie." It is pleasant enough, and it even displays a bit of depth that is the hallmark of better romantic and "feel good" comedies. However--- it isn't a great movie. It is no masterpiece. The foppish poseurs who drool over this light fare as if there were beholding some amazing jewel is getting a bit annoying. In the artsy theater in our town, I could hear the forced and hollow "salon chuckles" of the local cognoscente wannabes, as if displaying to us all that they, too, "get it." Humbug! Those folks should get out more!

This is a good movie, and it deserves to be watched and enjoyed. But dang, folks... while this emperor's new clothes may not be totally imaginary, he is, nonetheless, given all the uber-hype and Oscar predictions for this cinematic bauble, severely underdressed.
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