ARTUS DE PENGUERN
ARNE MEERKAMP VEN EMBDEN
TRAILERS & CLIPS
After his attempt at the Hollywood blockbuster with the sub-par Alien: Resurrection, French director John-Pierre Juenet (in his second solo outing) reclaims much deserved credibility points and kudos for Amelie, an immensely entertaining, visually extravagant, heartfelt story about a dreamer with a wild imagination and a heart of gold.
Through the use of a narrator (Andre Dussollier), the viewer is introduced to Amelie Poulain (Audrey Tautou), a young, attractive waitress who - thanks to a sheltered upbringing by her eccentric parents Raphael (Rufus) and Amandine (Lorella Cravotta) - has developed a vivid imagination and a taste for life's simple pleasures.
In a kind gesture, Amelie decides to track down a stranger and return a toy box from his youth. Pleased with the results, Amelie realises that her calling in life is to help others with good deeds, which she promptly does with those in her apartment building, at work, and in her family. However, when she falls in love with Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz), she finds it hard to fill her own life with happiness by taking the plunge and telling him how she feels.
It is a rare thing to have an illuminating experience whilst watching a film, but that is exactly what is encountered with Amelie. This is an extremely pleasurable film to watch. It is quirky and eccentric with its surrealistic sensibilities and loony characters, but never comes off as pretentious; Funny and cheeky, but never resorting to immature stabs at humour.
Its lush colours and rich landscapes create a bubbly atmosphere. Jeunet applies various camera techniques and computer generated images to bring Amelie's fantasies to life, yet they do not distract like other films might, but enhance what is already on screen.
All of this is anchored by a touching lead performance from Audrey Tautou, the extremely cute, petite French actress a superb casting choice (Emily Watson was originally set to paly the part), who was more than able to bring forth her characters' complexities, eccentricities, and above all, loving warmth.