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Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain
Year:
2001
Country:
Germany, France
Genre:
Fantasy, Romance, Comedy
IMDB rating:
8.5
Director:
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Audrey Tautou as Amélie Poulain
Mathieu Kassovitz as Nino Quincampoix
Rufus as Raphaël Poulain
Lorella Cravotta as Amandine Poulain
Serge Merlin as Raymond Dufayel
Jamel Debbouze as Lucien
Claire Maurier as Madame Suzanne - la patronne du café
Isabelle Nanty as Georgette
Dominique Pinon as Joseph
Artus de Penguern as Hipolito
Yolande Moreau as Madeleine Wallace
Urbain Cancelier as Collignon
Maurice Bénichou as Dominique Bretodeau
Storyline: Amélie is a story about a girl named Amélie whose childhood was suppressed by her Father's mistaken concerns of a heart defect. With these concerns Amélie gets hardly any real life contact with other people. This leads Amélie to resort to her own fantastical world and dreams of love and beauty. She later on becomes a young woman and moves to the central part of Paris as a waitress. After finding a lost treasure belonging to the former occupant of her apartment, she decides to return it to him. After seeing his reaction and his new found perspective - she decides to devote her life to the people around her. Such as, her father who is obsessed with his garden-gnome, a failed writer, a hypochondriac, a man who stalks his ex girlfriends, the "ghost", a suppressed young soul, the love of her life and a man whose bones are as brittle as glass. But after consuming herself with these escapades - she finds out that she is disregarding her own life and damaging her quest for love. Amélie then ...
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Reviews
Cotton Candy, not the real stuff
I cannot understand why so many users are raving about this film. Yes, it is original. Yes, the lead actress is cute and holds your attention. Yes, the other characters are bizarre and sometimes funny.

But REALLY !!!! This is one of the highest rated films on imdb? I have been a movie geek for almost 50 years, and this did NOT even remotely jump out at me as an all-time great film. It is enjoyable fluff, nothing more. Did it make me feel good about life? No. I already was OK when I watched it, and it didn't move me, touch me in any real way. I expected so much more, from all the reviews. I was disappointed.

It is like cotton candy as opposed to homemade chocolate. French cinema has produced much better than this. Jules & Jim, Z, 400 Blows, Manon of the Spring, to name a few.
2002-08-17
i´d rather stick to dark jeunet, thank you
Delicatessen is a masterpiece of overwhelming imagination breathless originality and excellent humor. I love that movie for its beauty and for its characters which track me back in childhood. The first difference between apes and humans, if good´o´darwin was right and we are indeed relatives of the primates, is nothing else than imagination. I will always take my hat off in front of a creative soul and i will always worship guys who can find the proper esthetical path for their imagination. This is why i love the city of the lost children. But somehow jeunet´s conversion to light is maybe not so inspired. Of course i was seduced by all those simptomps of a grate imagination and by all those small details á la tex avery, i was amused by most of the characters and i am far from saying that i am disappointet by jeunet (as i could say about his co-national besson, but this is not the right place for that), i still fancy his studied images and his fetishism for color, but this movie gives me somehow the impresion that a highly spirited guy is trying to express himself in a language he is not quite proficient in. He is making compromises and uses supportive structures to make a message go through. The most annoying of them, i will be the devil´s advocate, is the way amelie looks in the camera, hence at us, whenever she has an idea or somehow wants to make an appeal to our comprehensive capabilities, like those extremely annoying conversation-lovers who do not waste any opportunity to act with two fingers from both of their hands, somewhere at the level of the ears, nobing with the head in the same time, all this just to express more or less, undoubtfully, that they are just using quotation marks.
2001-10-18
Title character wasn't compelling
After a snappy beginning, Amelie became unbearably boring. The title character was the principal problem. About two-thirds of the way through the movie, I lost all interest in what would happen to her. I wanted to scream out, "Just say something. Anything." The ending was ludicrously delayed. What did everyone else see in this movie?
2002-01-28
Friendly escapism
This movie is a pleasure to watch. It is set in a (non-existant) Paris, clean and filled with friendly people. It's sunny, and misery is only decorum.

"Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" is *not* the great movie everyone says it is. Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed it thoroughly, but it's easy to score with a magical, slightly surrealistic feelgood movie, where you can leave all human troubles at the doorstep.

Amélie did not "grip" me at any point, because it was so obvious from the start that things would work out. For everybody. Sure, I laughed at some points and marvelled at some technical cinematic wizardry, but that's to be expected of a comedy of this sort.

The eyes of Audrey Tautou are very nice to look into, but her regular girly grins (combined with a larger-than-life zoom-in) got on my nerves, at times.

This movie is not a 10. Over 4600 people thought it was, but I really can't see why. It's a good movie. It's not a great movie. The current top spot in the Movie Top 250 is, in my opinion, undeserved. Either people needed this kind of escapism - post 9-11 and all, but I sense chauvinistic voting.

Do you need to see this movie? Yes, but only as pleasing eye candy. I found no deeper philosophical meaning in "Amélie", but that's not the purpose of the movie.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Two sidenotes:

Some elements of the movie were nicked. The travelling garden gnome is part of an internet folklore. The part where Amélie messes with the appartement of the greengrocers was lifted straight out of a story by Roald Dahl, in which a man brings his wife to madness by slowly, but deliberately changing small elements of the house.

Still, it was a pleasure to watch. Leave reason at the door, but remember to pick it up when you leave.
2002-01-04
The Fabuleux Watching of Amelie!
If any friend of mine ever asked me to recommend a film as an introduction to world, or 'foreign' cinema, I always went for this glorious Gallic romantic fantasy.

Not only is the storytelling intelligent and engaging, the artistic design is crammed full of fascinating detail, brilliantly stylised in bold colours and full of directorial flourishes.

To my mind, Audrey Tautou is absolutely perfect, not just as her cheeky impish match-making and good Samaritan but as also as an advert for a modern Femme du Paris. The whole project might as well have been co- produced by Tourism France as it covers what us foreigners feel we think Paris IS but in a modernised and fresh way. Nothing overtly quaint but still employing the best bits of what makes France individual, elegant and great.

Re-watching the DVD after some seven years I found the whole escapade still refreshing, uplifting but not in a sugar-coated way and dazzling in its effects, which I'm sure were pioneering back almost ten years ago, when it was made. The final freedom-on-a-moped escapade is absolutely and wonderfully youthful and brilliantly done.

What, though I feel is one of the film's strongest points is how every age group is not only represented but championed and integrated and that every character has enough 'stuff' so that not only do we care for each of them but also the whole community in which they live and thrive, as a whole. That is a major achievement. That 'Amelie' is still in IMDb's top 50, as voted by us, must make it a classic.
2010-11-26
It's my favorite movie of all time...
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.

2002-12-03
Worth checking out
A fun, quirky film from France. Personally i thought that it was a tad too long & could have been a little shorter.

Audrey Tautou, in the title role is absolutely perfect, giving the character warmth & heart.

The use of special effects was clever & not overdone, a mistake that could have easily been made.

A film well worth checking out. 6/10
2003-07-29
Merde du Merde, not Crême de la CRËME !
So I am not French, don't judge the summary above. But to make it short, this is the worst movie I have ever watched, no exaggeration, but sincere judgment. It's terribly awful, so much that I want my 2 hours back !

Now let's make it clear, I have never rated a movie (1 star, or under 6 stars) like this one ever before, actually I am easy-pleased by things, movies, and stuff, but this one went too far beyond Sh*t.

I watched this with my friend, neither me nor him had enjoyed it so far, it was so awkward and unfunny, the narrator was so annoying. Giving every character a special persona ? That didn't work out, it was so shitty, it made a lot of jokes about sex and stuff, and that didn't work out as well. The main character was lovely during the first 4 minutes but the plot ruined her for good.

I wished the movie had ended so soon, I felt like I am torturing my friend along with his time. If this was horribly rated I'd not blame myself... But...18th... seriously ?!

This howsoever has no point at all, you finish watching it then you be like :"What have I just watched? What's the point?" the only winner of the movie is Amélie who hung out with a porn-shop guy, seriously...

Charlie Chaplin would have murdered himself if he had heard the lame jokes in this movie. They don't even fit a kid's sense of humour, let alone this movie is rated for Mature people.

It doesn't deserve a 10, a 9, but a negative rating. Mince ! I know I am 15 years late, but a legendary movie never dies. This one lasted so long not enough, it shouldn't have.

Let us all pray to God that we don't witness another Merde, Amen.
2016-12-19
STALKER!
OK, everyone seemed so impressed with this film that I decided to check it out. Then after reflecting on the absolute blubbering and swooning that most people did about this film I decided to register with IMDB and just see if there might be anyone in agreement with me? Sure the film making is wonderful. Sure it's sort of non-banal escapism. Sure it's "not like anything else seen before," but it seems that what almost everyone reviewing this film is enamored is the "cute factor" and ignoring what is screamingly obvious. The lead character, is apparently a cute, little stalker of a girl, with a plucky, yet dogged tenacity, and a sheepish grin. Sure, no one is murdered in a particularly heinous fashion, and the musical score never once makes you bristle and feel like what she is doing is out of line, but take Audrey Tautou out of the lead and give it to someone like oh say, Roseanne Barr-Arnold, and the tenor of the film gets really dark really quickly. Or just reverse the sexes of the lead actors in the film for that matter. It's seems odd to me that the newest criminal blight de jour is stalking, (and not just the headline grabbing celebrity stalking,) and everyone is up in arms if an ex-lover, romantic, "admirer", or frequent passerby (stalker by today's standards) so much as breathes out of line in regards to their said "target" and they are immediately banished to the fringes of society or locked away. But put a happy little face on it and some devilishly cute eyes and perhaps some long sexy legs and everyone is ready to forgive her stalking actions and attribute it to delightful eccentricity and / or whimsy. This movie is definitely a mixed message. In the present political climate, it's best to take heed of what messages you take in and not to take them at face value but to look deeper and see what the real message is. The screamingly apparent message of this movie is that if you are cute and sprite-ful, you can be a stalker, win the target of your obsession, and get away with it. And the funniest thing is, everyone seems to have ignored the fact that that is THE major theme in this film, and because of the stylistic film making, they have just fallen head over heels in love with it and completely ignored the face value substance of the film. If stalking is cute, change the laws in your state.
2003-01-27
Psychologically insightful


This movie is stylish beyond belief. But what strikes me most is the way it manages to capture the reality of human emotions, how internal monologues are played out in the form of TV programs, how dreams are simulated by the magical movements of inanimate objects and talking photographs! It is a charismatic portrayal of inner existence and the most natural desire to pursue happiness, both in our life and that of others.
2001-12-28
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