Film Review - Amelie

Starring Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus and Claire Maurier | Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Miramax DVD R WS 122min 2001

Review By Juliet

Amelie is a young French waitress who works at a café in Paris. She is extremely shy but very charming in her own quiet way. Through coincidence, Amelie helps a stranger and finds the experience extremely gratifying. So she sets out to help both friends and strangers find joy in their lives through her small anonymous interventions. At the same time, she finds herself attracted to Nino, a quirky loner like herself who is fascinated by the photo booths in Parisian train stations. Amelie must figure out how to continue helping people but at the same time help herself find love.

Amelie is great for both longtime and novice viewers of French films. The subtitles are well translated and easy to follow, and the plot itself is straightforward enough if you’re not a fast reader. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet manages to capture magic and charm and Paris and French cinema while still being accessible to the foreign viewer. And it’s really hard not to like such a feel-good story.

The DVD itself is fantastic. There so many wonderful extras including several conversations with Jeunet and lead actress Audrey Tautou, audition footage, storyboards, and an entire feature about the look of the film. Definitely worth a buy.