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Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain
Germany, France
Fantasy, Romance, Comedy
IMDB rating:
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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Another one that deservedly goes straight to my top-movies list! A soul- refilling experience that restores your faith in life and people... a reality check of life's little pleasures.

Audrey Tautou played Amelie to perfection that I can't really digest her performance in any other movie; she is and will always remain the doe- eyed, innocent and lovable Amelie to me. The rest of the cast are quite perfect for their roles as well.

There isn't much to be said about the movie which traces the life of a simple 23-year-old French waitress with a wild imagination; however, each and every detail counts and adds something to this colorful visual painting and the experience as a whole. Direction and cinematography are simply beautiful!

One more thing: Yann Tiersen's extremely becoming and salient music is like God's final touches on earth! Funny, gripping and spirit-lifting, this is a movie you will never get tired of watching over and over again.
A hilarious, warm movie in a world all its own.
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.
It is the best film i've ever seen.Only the French could make films as good as this. Amélie explores the trivial things in life and it brings you to some realisations of your own in that our lives are so simple and we only need the simplest of things to keep us happy. Amélie is a must for anyone
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.
Couldn't finish it...
Quirky films sometimes win me over... sometimes they don't. An example of colorful "Quirkiness" that won me over completely is the wonderful television series Pushing Daisies. That is what I would compare this film most with in its style and tone... and yet I didn't like it.

NOTE- I don't like reviewing films that I do not finish watching, but I only saw the first 50 minutes of this film. My Film Teacher played it for us on a big screen. I was very excited for it. When it began I was liking it... after 10 minutes I felt it was rubbing me the wrong way. After 20 minuets the story was mildly engaging and I wanted to see where it went... As it went on I kept wondering to myself if I should leave... I even watch the worst of films. I left because I just saw no indication of the film grabbing me. Yeah,I guess it's well-made for the filmmakers intentions, yet for all of its style it never amused me. The lead performance was very good, but the film as a whole felt too calculated. Hey, I love visual films, but the visuals in this one seemed to be too artificial to me. And again, I loved Pushing Daisies. Yet this film's plot and execution wasn't grabbing me and was making me a little bored, so I left. I don't plan on watching the rest of it any time soon, and I don't think I will ever like the film. I get what the filmmakers were trying to do, but I simply didn't find it appealing. Since I didn't finish it I don't want to give it a negative score, but quite simply, I don't see the fuss about this film. I give it a 5 as it stands now. Did I mention that the dialogue was just... dull? Not a bad film per say by the standards in which it was made, just a VERY uninteresting and dull one, even with all of its colors and visuals.

EDIT- So I decided to watch it in its entirety, mark the date December 9th, 2011. Why do I want to mark the date? Well, because I fell in love with it. This time, I wasn't surrounded by my obnoxious film class, and I really took it differently. I mean, I love Pushing Daiises, so I knew this was a film that would benefit from watching again, and this time as a whole. This time, I was hooked in it's storyline.

I also want to say that this opened my mind a little bit more. It's very difficult to do fantasy, romance, and comedy in the right way that it engages me enough. It's always been harder for films of this type for me to love than the usual, gritty, well-made thrillers or dramas. Which is why this stands out in my mind. The cinematography is amazing (as expected, as Delbonnel had the best cinematography of 2009 for Harry Potter 6), as is the art direction. I also noticed the colors. Yeah, it has very vivid colors, but the color saturation as whole had a very greenish sort of look to it, which i thought was unique in itself. The first half is faster-paced and different than the second, but both work completely. I love very few romance films, but the romance here is just so delightful. This is a film that leaves you happy as can be, and I am very glad i rewatched it.
Charming but...
This was a charming movie with delightful simple characters, but somehow it left me a little cold. It has some interesting devices, like the narrator's slice of life pictures, and Amelie's projects are fun to watch. I also enjoyed the quirky characters that fill the story. But to me there was little emotional depth to the film and I'm afraid I kept waiting for something more involving.

On the whole a good way to spend an evening, but alas, unless I missed the point, very light entertainment and not especially memorable.

It seems that I'm the only one...
...in conversations about this movie who simply doesn't like it. When I say that "I hate it", everyone starts to praise the whole movie.

Reasons I don't like this movie are:

1) All too happy in a too sweet way 2) Soundtrack, which is the most stereotyped soundtrack I have listened to 3) Characters. The main character is simply a nut job 4) The overall look and feeling of it. Those zooms and tracking shots...

I've always thought that if Amelie would have been an Hollywood movie, everyone would have said "It too sappy", but now when it is in french: "Aaah...it's so nice." Yet again, I feel I'm the only one who thinks this way.

For some reason this movie just didn't work for me. I'm not a pessimist or anything, but all that chirpy and happy feeling just don't cut it.

Having watched other Jeunet's movies, I think that his style just doesn't work for me.
Two words: Tres Magnificent! (10/10)
I have been slightly obsessed with this film since I first watched it when it came out. Always found many French movies a tad hard to digest prior to Amelie; but this changed my mind completely. To be honest, anything by Jeunet and Caro is simply genius! This film has it all. A beautiful set and backdrop. A story you can't help but to fall in love with. A great sense of humour. Odd and quirky characters; all portrayed perfectly by the entire cast. It is one of those movies you want to go on forever. If you haven't watched Amelie yet, then you are in for a spectacular treat. It makes an unforgettable impression. If you have watched Amelie already, then hey - watch it again (and again and again)!
Too Strange
This movie I watched for a few minutes and well, the unexpected plot, cartoon type characters, I was sort of caught off guard. From the start I found the Amelie character, in some ways criminal. Even her devious look on the cover shot I wonder, maybe she would have worked in a Bugs Bunny cartoon as the girlfriend of Wile E. Coyote. Not to be malicious just this movie was so odd. It seems so many people like this movie and for the life of me I cannot understand why. People I've read who like the movie there is a strange correlation to hash usage. To me this makes me wonder if I should stat smoking hash. Well the state I live in has very strict laws and guess that is not a viable option.
Great to a point, but slips (Spoilers)
Unlike Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Cité de enfants perdu which never has a period, or moment of greatness, Amélie manages to be great and wonderfully inventive for about the first half hour until Bretodeau gets his box back. After that it's as if we've watched the origin story of a super hero and then watch her go about her daily routine (changing from Clark Kent to Superman, so to speak). The film then hits a structural snag, whereas, now Amelie has satisfied the desire of one man she goes off and tries to help everyone almost at once and we are told of these incidents simultaneously. The film had its greatest grip on me when we were focused on one story, there would've been nothing wrong with vignettes after all it was good enough for Truffaut in Small Change. Amelie begins wonderfully, with voice-over narration of her early life which the French seem to be masters at, the best example of voice-over being in Leolo a Quebecois film. Her childhood full of its strange events come across as hilarious whereas other cultures might have botched them making them distasteful, the death of her mother being a perfect example. The quirky humor is about the only thing that never leaves the film from the ticket taker who now punches holes in plants, the stuffed dog, the traveling gnome etc. When Bredoteau finds his box we flashback to what memories those items held for him in what are truly beautiful moments of the film. This is my moment of highest involvement, that sequence was a pinnacle which the narrative never achieved again. Part of the problem is the predictability the film later runs into. I'm terrible at guessing the ends of movie but once we were introduced to Nino and told of his past I knew that he and Amelie would end up together. So obviously, it was nerve-wracking and annoying that she was so painfully shy and prolonged the movie unnecessarily. Then there's the almost American complication in the relationship between Georgette and the bar drunk by her talking to Nino were so uncalled for. Then we also have the "Glass Man" and Amelie pondering Renoir's painting. While in the beginning it's commenting on Amelie is subtle it becomes more and more overt as the film moves on. The there are Jeunet's shots of Amelie smiling to extract her cuteness for some affect and frankly she's not all that cute and the shots are inorganic which is even worse. The special effects also eventually become pedantic when the key in her pocket shines, it makes me wonder what kind of film this would've turned into if Jeunet had been given a Lucas-like amount of special effect allowances in the budget. The cinematography in this film is quite spectacular but in certain instances the effects downplay what they have been able to do with the camera. The change in structure of this film ultimately creates a domino effect. While I can't re-write the film I wonder if I would be nit-picking so much if there hadn't been such a shift in the way the story was told. In the end Amelie is an enjoyable experience that may just have indulged its premise a bit too much-6/10.
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