122 Min. | Comedy – Romance | October 2001
IMDB Rating: 8.4
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Staring: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus
Amelie Review: 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’Amelie Poulain” to that list. Here is a film so original, so funny, and so warm. 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 Amelie (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. Amelie goes about this with great success. One particularly wonderful scene shows Amelie 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, Amelie 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. Amelie’s conflict is what rounds out the picture and makes it complete. The movie is deep and takes Amelie’s inner struggle seriously, but it’s never heavy. Brilliantly hilarious, “Amelie” 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.