Young Amélie (Audrey Tautou) works in a Paris café, lives alone - and helps people,
surreptitiously. For example, she secretly returns childhood treasures to a middle aged
man; she frees a girlfriend from a troublesome lover and steers him into passion with
another. When Nino (Matthieu Kassovitz) comes into her life, things change as they try to
find each other.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Compelling and unique from the very first frame, Amélie is cinematic gold.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a game and irreverent filmmaker, but he has a heart of romantic
gold. He loves people, and if any of his characters get out of hand, there is retribution
at hand. Always funny retribution. But Amélie is not about that at all. That's just one
of the many side trips and sub-stories, incidentals and asides, in what is a film full of
them. There is more business in the film than actual story, and you can search most of it
for meaning in vain. Some of the recurring elements you may wish to interpret as metaphors
for something include photographs, dreams and cats. Of course, apart from all that, it is
as ever, a search for self and love. It is also more inventive and energetic than a dozen
conveyor belt teen comedies from Hollywood studios aching for a buck.
As for the DVD, it is a perfect match for film's heart. For example, if you ever are in
need of cheering up or a bit of a lift, just switch on the extra called Audrey Tatou's
Funny Faces. It's really just a compilation of outtakes, but concentrating on Audrey's
funny faces….as it says.
Then there's the fabulous destiny of Audrey Tatou who is to become Amélie, and we see at
the start of the Making of doco, how the actress with long hair is transformed
(metamorphosed, says the screen card) into Amelie with short hair. And like much of the
DVD extra content, this is accompanied by that piano accordionist who plays like an angel.
You may want to see how the sex scenes were auditioned…and you'll certainly want to
have a laught at the funny faces in Autoportraits (which have nothing to do with the film,
except in spirit). The extras aren't long, but they remind us of the mood and heart of
Every lover of good movies will want this DVD - terrific film and great entertainment, but
it's also useful as medication. It'll make you feel good.
Published July 11, 2002
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BUY THE SOUNDTRACK
AMELIE: DVD (M)
CAST: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz
DIRECTOR: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
RUNNING TIME: approx 120 minutes (feature only)
SPECIAL FEATURES: Making documentary; Audrey Tatou's Funny Faces; story board; screen tests; trailer
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Magna Pacific
DVD RELEASE: July 10, 2002 (rental); November 13, 2002 (retail)