I knew that this film would be good, I just didn’t expect it to be that good. It should be obvious from my many reviews that I tend to enjoy films a lot, but films rarely touch me in the way that this one did – it made me feel so much.
Amelie, the girl of the title, is a shy and imaginative young woman living alone in Paris. One day she discovers someone’s hidden childhood treasures in her apartment, and the initiative she takes from here on in sets in place a chain of wondrous events, affecting the lives of everyone she sets her sights on. However, when such a wondrous change comes looking for her, she finds herself emotionally incapacitated.
This was a unique experience for me. The film focuses on the little pleasures that life offers us, the little things that make each one of us an individual, and celebrates them lovingly and unconditionally. The director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, manages to pull off dazzling sequences that would come across on paper as unfilmable to most. That the audience is never left in the dark, and is clued in on the emotional responses of each character, is a remarkable feat to achieve. It overwhelmed me.
Audrey Tatou is absolutely gorgeous, and indelible as our wide-eyed heroine Amelie. The supporting cast, whilst completely unrecognisable to the likes of this non-French speaking reviewer, are almost equally as wonderful in their parts, some using very little screen time to establish exceptionally memorable characters.
There isn’t much else to say – this is a beautiful film. Strikingly original, completely engrossing, and beyond entertaining, with something of the lost innocence of childhood about it. It saddens me that some people will probably overlook it because it’s in French, but I guess such is the struggle of ‘foreign’ films.
TRIVIA: ‘Amelie’ is the highest-grossing European film of all time (so far). It was shot in Germany, despite being set in France and featuring an all-French cast.