Amelie (2001)

February 7, 2007

I visited Paris for a week in 2003 – my first trip overseas. Later that year, I saw Amelie for the first time, and it reminded me very much of my time in Paris. I, like many people, found the film to be uplifting, original, and – for lack of a better word – charming.

amelie3.jpg

Amelie just seems to fit the bill as a quintessential French film – combining individualism, eccentricity, beauty, humor, and love as it seems only the French can do. Thus, now that I’m planning a return trip to Paris (this time with a lovely wife in tow), I thought it would be an appropriate time to watch Amelie a second time and see if it again would do its magic and make me nostalgic to return to the streets of Paris.

I don’t know that I have much to add that hasn’t already been said about this film. The plot follows the life of Amelie Poulain, an eccentric young woman who lives by herself in the Monmarte district of Paris. One day, she begins striving to force the people around her out of their daily, run-of-the-mill routines and to challenge them to look at their lives with a renewed sense of interest. As she is doing this, however, she discovers that her own life of unconventionality has left her feeling unfulfilled and lonely. amelie.jpgShe soon realizes that to be happy, she must break out of her cozy hermitage and take advantage of life before it passes her by. The film has a great story and beautiful cinematography, is skillfully directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and of course stars Audrey Tautou, whose perfect rendering of Amelie propelled her to international acclaim almost overnight.

Sure enough – the film got me even more excited about returning to Paris, particularly since most of it takes place in Monmarte, the same district we’re planning on staying in during our stay. (In fact, it turns out many of the key locales in the film – the cafe where Amelie works, for instance – are actual places in Monmarte, so maybe we’ll have a chance to visit some of them.) I will say I didn’t enjoy it quite as much the second time around (I imagine this is often the case with notably original films, which likely will not seem quite as original the second time around). On the other hand, it’s still a beautiful picture to look at and it contains a thoughtful story with a good message. Such films will always be worth a repeat viewing every not and then.

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One Response to “Amelie (2001)”

  1. gspence1173 Says:

    grrr aaaauudre tautou

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