Reader’s Recommendations: “Amélie”

amelie_ver1Hey everyone, it’s Friday, time for another entry in the Reader Recommendations series!

The Reader Recommendation series is intended to help me formally pursue all the great films that commenters bring up each week in discussion which I’ve never seen. If there’s a movie that comes up that I haven’t seen, but you think I should, email me @ fogsmoviereviews@gmail.comor let me know in the comments that you’d like to
participate!
 
Mark WalkerThis time up, our movie recommendation comes from Mark Walker of Marked Movies, who has suggested “Amélie”.
 
I’ve heard great things, but I’ve never actually seen this movie. I trust Mark’s opinion, though, he has great taste in movies. So I’m more than willing to check this one out!
 
Click through to see what we had to say!

My questions in bold. Mark′s answers
below.

 
1) Do you remember when you first saw the movie?
 
I remember going to the cinema with my dad to see Amelie when I was about 23. He had just lost his partner to a sudden illness and he was at a loose end. By trying to take his mind of things we’d visit the cinema regularly and this was turned out to be the perfect choice for that time.
 
2) Why do you think that it’s recommendable? What do you like about it?
 
I find it to be one of the most creative and uplifting cinematic experiences you can get. I’m a big fan of French movies and Amelie epitomizes their fresh and original approach to filmmaking.
 
3) Is the movie underappreciated, do you think? Or does pop culture have it fairly rated?
 
I don’t think it is under appreciated. Anyone that has seen it always speaks highly of it and it was, at one time, the biggest box office hit that France had ever produced. It may still be the highest grossing film from that country and it also received 5 Oscar nominations which isn’t too shabby.
 
4) Is there any particular reason you thought I should watch it, or were you just surprised I hadn’t seen it?
 
Personally, I think everyone should treat themselves to this film. It’s not surprising that some haven’t got around to it yet as foreign cinema can sometimes take a while to reach people. I recommended it purely to hear your opinion of it.
5) Have you written about the movie yourself? (Insert plug here! LOL )
 
Yes, I have. It’s one of my favourite films and here’s my short review…
 

http://mrmarakai.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/amelie/

Thanks, Mark! My review is below!

.

Right from the titles you can tell it “Amélie” will be quirky, stylistic film. And it certainly is.  

Growing up, Amélie’s uptight parents cause her to lead an isolated, yet imaginative life. When she’s of age to live on her own, she discovers a cigar box of children’s toys and photographs hidden behind the floorboard of her apartment. Determined to track down its owner and return the box, she inquires of her neighbors about who used to live there. She eventually succeeds in returning the toys, and the reaction the man has to them is more than she could have imagined.

Which leads her to become addicted to helping people.

Now that she knows her neighbors, Amélie begins secretly kibitzing in their lives. She subtley plays matchmaker for a couple. She pranks an abusive boss. She sends a grieving widow a love letter. She sends a series of bizarre but wonderful events on video tape to a shut in. In the lives of nearly everyone around her, she finds some way to secretly try to bring joy or justice.

But what will happen when she has the opportunity to improve her own life? When sparks fly between Amélie and a stranger she meets in the subway, will she be brave enough to set up a romance for herself?

Audrey Tautou is fantastic and charming as the whimsical Amélie. I can see why such a fuss was made over performance here. She perfectly plays a shy, yet sprightly young woman who has no hesitation helping others, but who freezes up when its time to take a leap into romance herself. She’s gorgeous and charming and winds up drawing you in to the movie… you’ll find her irresistible and will want to root for her character.   

The style and direction of the film are almost a character unto themselves. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet creates an idiosyncratic film here, one with a look and feel all its own. At times, he’ll fill the screen with an abundance of a single primary color. He always keeps the framing interesting and alive, as if it were dancing. But the primary element in the charm of the film are all the oddities he scatters about. Things like talking photographs, or a winking statue, or people who pop up from behind sewer grates to advise Amélie. It’s a sublimely surrealistic style that makes an undeniable contribution to the sweet, whimsical tone of the film.

“Amélie” is a fun, sweet film that features inventive direction and a unforgetably charming lead performance. It’s a movie that will warm hearts and bring smiles to faces, I can see why it’s spoken of so highly. Thanks to Mark for a great recommendation!

A++

Daniel Fogarty

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67 thoughts on “Reader’s Recommendations: “Amélie”

  1. Hey, Fogs. I would like to formally recommend “The City of Lost Children.”
    And, by the way… I have been enjoying your blog, and I admire the time and effort you have so obviously put into it. Maybe it will light a fire under me, and get me to put more time and effort into panzareviews.com.

  2. Pingback: » Movie Review – Beasts Of The Southern Wild Fernby Films

  3. What a wonderful review! Just what I’ve been looking for :)
    Check out mine!
    Have you seen romantics anonymous? I think thats one film you’d really enjoy! :)
    All the best x

    • Sorry Arena, I know your heart’s in the right place and all, but I try to discourage people from posting links to their own stuff here, except under special circumstances. So, I removed the link. I’m sure you’ll understand. Glad you enjoyed the review.

      I have not seen Romantics Anonymous, either I’m afraid, but I’ll make note in case on day it crosses my path!

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