Teaser: We’re heading to France for this Movie of the Week with one of my absolute favorite films. Feast in its eye-popping visuals, delightful story, and…a travelling gnome?
When I was first diving into the vast world of film, I relied primarily on IMDB’s Top 250 list (a solid place to start for any budding cinephiles). One day, when I received a DVD in the mail via Netflix (gosh, those were the days) I was expecting some sappy love story full of cheesy lines and romance, but two hours later, through misty eyes and a happy heart, I finished my first viewing of “Amelie”
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, “Amelie” was released in 2001 to rave reviews and even received five Oscar nomination (how it didn’t win Best Foreign Film, I will never understand). Starring a spunky, all-too-lovable Audrey Tautou, it tells the story of a young woman who slowly changes the lives of those around her, ultimately finding romance along the way.
With what I would consider one of my Top 10 film scores of all time, “Amelie” is pure pleasure to watch. In fact, it is hard not to fall in love with Amelie as she navigates through the wonderfully filmed streets of Paris (specifically Montmartre) on her quest to make the world a better place. Tautou, in probably her most recognizable role, is a sheer delight. Innocent but steadfast, quiet but adorably mischievous. She somehow knows the right thing to do with the right person, ultimately impacting their lives for the better. It all goes back to reminding the audience that even the littlest of actions can have the biggest of outcomes.
The characters are silly, but lovable. There are villains, too, but they are not the focus; they are just those miserable people who live their lives doing the exact opposite of what Amelie sets out to do.
Did I forget to mention that this movie basically inspired the Travelocity traveling gnome? Well, it did.
Will you be enchanted by this movie in the same way that I was? Maybe, maybe not–but I can assure you of two things. One, you will fall hard for Amelie; and two, you will have an itching feeling to wanna go out and make the world a better place after it all because of this splendid, magical little movie.
122 minutes, Rated R