Charming and Quirky
Review by Ross Anthony

Amelie understands our little insanities and appreciates us for them.

A swift speaking narrator capsules Amelie's biography. The fisheyed, almost cartoony cinematography, attention to bizarre cherry-earring Ameliedetails and the silly tone of narration (like that of "Rocky and Bullwinkle") maintain a dizzy-dancy, tilted humor that will win your heart immediately and never let it go. In fact, I'd have been pleased as punch if these fruitatiously rich characters never spoke, the quirky story telling and images play so well together.

Ah, but once we are brought to speed, though undoubtedly quite comfortable being narrated, Amelie speaks for herself. Sculpted from a friendless sheltered childhood, adult Amelia eventually stumbles across two missions: 1) falling in love with a stranger as harmlessly eccentric as herself, 2) playing a sort of secret angel to the plethora of colorfully dysfunctional characters in her daily life. The former being so terribly frightening to her, she tends to both in a behind the scenes, strategic, yet playful manner.

Unique and original, this film is simply charming. Though she won't react well to it - you'll fall in love with "Amelie."

Five to ten minutes cutting would have improved its grade to a solid "A," as is: a very strong "A-."

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  • Amelie. Copyright © 2001. In French with subtitles.
  • Starring Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus.
  • Directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet.
  • Written by Gullaume Laurant, Jean Pierre Jeunet.
  • DP: Bruno Delbonnel.
  • Photographer: Franccois Paumard.
  • Produced by Claudie Ossard at MMC Independent GmbH/Victories Productions/Tapioca Films/France 3 Cinema.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 30-May-2018 09:29:52 PDT