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2001 - R - Mins.
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Written By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Guillaume Laurant
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Rufus, Mathieu Kassovitz
Review by: Joe Jarvis
'Amelie' (or “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulain” en français) is a magical film from France. It has been a success across Europe and America in cinemas and can now be found on DVD and video. In case you haven’t heard of it, “Amelie” is undoubtedly a great movie.

It follows the story of Amelie Poulain, a dizzy French girl who has a strange childhood, being tutored at home by her proper parents. Amelie is all grown up and escapes the family home, moving to Paris, getting a job in a café in Montmartre. It’s 1997 and Princess Diana has died. Amelie discovers a mysterious box of memories. Amelie decides to find the person who owns it and ends up doing many good things for people.

Amelie gets off a train one day and sees a mysterious eccentric (hey, who goes scooping up ripped up photos from under photo booths?). His name is Nino. She realises that after seeing him, she loves him and she decides to go and do something for herself. She then sets off around Paris to find him, falling in love with him even more along the way.

It’s hard to pick out what makes “Amelie” so good. “Amelie” has a whimsical French atmosphere that has magic througout it. Everything, from young Amelie eating strawberries on her fingers as a child to the scenes in the café, seems so beautiful that you want to capture it. The score also helps add atmosphere, sounding thoroughly “français”.

I thought that the performances were also great. Audrey Tautou brought Amelie to life with ease, bringing beauty and joy to an eccentric character. Mathieu Kassovitz was equally as good, giving life to his equally eccentric character Nino. Both seemed natural and realistic. The voice of the narrator sounded delightful, adding a wonderful French wit to the film in places. The supporting cast were also good and added an extra charm to the film.

On the whole, “Amelie” was a great film. It was charming and witty and had a feel-good atmosphere to it. It may not be a fantasy, but watching it made me feel as if I was visiting a fairyland. It was intriguing and heart-felt and is a treat to view. It does contain some nudity and sexual elements, so I wouldn’t show this to a child, but apart from that, it’s a film for everyone. Forget it’s a film in a foreign language. It’s best not to dismiss something that is in what seems a jargon than to miss what is actually one of the best films you’ll ever see in your entire life.
Movie Guru Rating
A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic.
  5 out of 5 stars

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