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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
Quintessential quirky French cinema
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
2003-01-08
Magical Realism for a cynical world...
**very mild spoilers**

I rented "Amelie" reluctantly. I had the impression that it would be a "girlie" film with meandering narrative and boring angst-ridden characters.

I am so glad I was wrong! What I did get was a "magical realism" tale of an introverted woman trying to improve the lives of the people around her. Amelie, through clever scheming and gentle intervention, facilitates delightful life experiences for her fellow characters.

The film does move at a slower pace, but the plot points are endearing, and it never drags. Every scene has a subtextual significance, where every shot adds a tiny sense of guilty voyeurism as we peek gentle into these people's lives.

The plot devices are purposely stretched to fantastical lengths at times. Laurant and Jeunet use this "magical" aspect of the realism to cultivate an optimism and effervescence that you won't find in any Hollywood movie today. The mood is always dreamy in this film, yet is never childish.

The characters will warm your heart. Audrey Tatou is perfect as the shy-yet-smouldering Amelie, and Jamel Debbouze is perfect as the impish Lucien.

You will love the sub plots of Amelie convincing her father to travel, and how she seeks gentle vengeance on the wicked grocer. The scheme to introduce herself to Nino, and the plot to do matchmaking at the cafe. All of these little stories are bound to tweak your heartstrings!

In the end: Amelie will leave you with feeling that "Pay it Forward" should have left you with... a buoyant and optimistic affection for humanity and life!

I highly recommend this movie to anyone, whether you are an action fan, an intellectual, or a feel-good Hollywood movie buff. There are clever plot elements and characterization that are good for all movie fans!

9 kernels of popcorn out of 10.

2002-11-25
This is rated so highly cause it deserves it
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.
2003-03-01
dreamy and wonderful
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It is romantic an absolute non-icky way, it shows a humans kindness in whole new lighting and Nino and Amelie share this delicate, tender, gentle love without many words said. Jean-Pierre made this film colorful like only few other people did or could do. Paris looks absolute dreamy and it makes you wish you were born in Paris, in Montmartre, with french as your mother tongue. It makes you wanna do something beautiful with your life, to yourself and to others, of course. It makes you brave, although you think of yourself to be the worst coward ever to live on this planet. Acting is perfect and I still can't get over the fact it didn't win an Oscar for best foreign film. Music goes along with the movie just great, it just right, it sets the perfect mood for the viewer. I really recommend this movie to everyone because I can guarantee you won't be disappointed!!!
2005-01-19
Encore, Jean - Pierre!
This is essentially a conventional love story told in an unconventional way. Jeunet is a uniquely talented film maker, and it is nice to see him venture so successfully into the mainstream, especially since his previous two productions, "Alien 4" and "Cité des enfants perdus" were interesting but overall unconvincing. I recommend "Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" to a wide audience and wish it success. Still, the movie that I would take with me to desert island would be Jeunet's other great success, "Delicatessen".
2001-08-29
Amelie WILL change your life
I have known about this movie for a while before I decided to watch it. It has shown up on recommended movies that I should watch, no matter the website or app. I finally got around to watching Amelie, and when I finished, I immediately regretted having not watched it earlier. This movie was highly amusing and lets the audience fall into a world of imagination mixed with reality.

Although my understanding of the French language may be very bare, just hearing and seeing the expressions of the outstanding actors made this movie one of the best I've seen. The camera work in this movie was phenomenal and really contributed to the whimsical feel of the movie. The characters were also very well developed and fascinating. None of them were too perfect; they all contained very human-like flaws. Another noteworthy aspect of this movie is how they portray the backstories of characters to the audience. Amelie uses very creative and engaging ways to introduce us to these characters.

I believe that this movie can connect with people on many levels. Everyone can find a piece of their personality in this movie and perhaps learn a little more about themselves.
2016-11-13
Finds its charm in the little things
'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.
2004-08-14
cute, but can you say over-rated?
this might be another case where the massive hype surrounding the movie raised my expectations so much that the end product, even though it was entertaining, funny and touching was hardly as good as i expected it to be.

audrey tatou has done a wonderful job playing the role of the shy and introverted amelie, her magical discovery and how it changes her life are smartly portrayed. the movie's narration and style are delightful and the movie constantly entertains with its funny touches. having said that a lot of the scenes are very predictable and cliched, particularly the episode with the grocer. funny yes, but cliched.

the movie honestly is wonderful and cute, but thats about all. i fail to see how this is one of the greatest movies of all time. top 10 most definitely not. another case where, on a rare occassion, the american audience has been exposed to a non-hollywood style movie they go totally gaga. last year's crouching tiger being another case in point. sad but true.

amelie though is a nice movie, but nothing great for people exposed to other wonderful movies from around the world.

a cute but disappointing 7!
2002-04-28
The most brightly whimsical film I have ever seen
Amélie is by far my most favorite film. I almost cannot describe how magically wonderful this film is. From the story, the characters, the hair styles, the fashion, the special effects, and especially the actors. There is not one single thing that I dislike about Amélie.

This is one of the most original and ingenious love stories ever written. The world of Amélie's mind is truly a wondrous place to reside.

Major kudos to director Jean-Pierre Jeunet for one of the most creative efforts ever put forth on film. Every character was cast perfectly. I am so pleased that Audrey Tautou was selected over Jeunet's original choice of Emily Watson.

If you like any type of romance story, or foreign films, this is the story for you.

The DVD is packed with tons of extras that make the story go on and on. I highly recommend this film to be added to anyone's film collection. J'aime Amélie.
2005-03-04
She makes ME fall in love too!
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...
2003-01-02
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