Amélie (2011) (R)













Amélie is a free spirit. She is the offspring of an unfortunate set of parents. Her father never spent any time with her as a child and her mother was less than kind. She ended up spending her days with her imaginary friends and taking revenge on adults who preyed on her naivety. Her world is much like the opening sequence from "Magnolia".
"Amélie" opens with times and dates. On a specific date at a given time a few things happened: a blue fly was killed on a street, a man erased his dead best friend's name from his address book, and Amélie was conceived. Her father likes cleaning his tool box and putting everything back and her mother enjoys dumping her purse out, cleaning it, and putting everything back. Amélie's father thinks that she had a heart condition when she doesn't and forces her to be homeschooled by her mother. Her mother is rigid and dies in a freak accident when a person committing suicide lands on her. Amélie's father then devotes the rest of his life to making a shrine to his dead wife. This forces his into his house, he becomes slightly agoraphobic.
Amélie grows up and moves out and takes a job at the Two Windmills as a waitress along with a cast of bizarre and unusual staff. Amélie is a hipster. She likes things that no one else does and she is a complete and total introvert.
A desire comes over Amélie when she finds a dream box in her apartment. She will reunite the boy the box belonged to and his possession. She does this and then experiences such euphoria. She decides that she will start to help people whenever she can. It becomes a calling for her.
But Amélie is still painfully shy and things start to take an odd turn when she starts to fall in love with one of her 'patients'.
This man is equally as bizarre as she is, he finds ripped up photos lying on the street and reassembles them and then keeps them in a mismatched photo album.
The oddity with which "Amélie" is filmed is reminiscent of "Annie Hall" or something else just as cooky. Photos talk and Amélie watches her life story unfold on the television. It's the stylistic choices that Jean-Pierre Jeanut chooses as director that makes this film soar.
on imdb.com this is the second best romantic film, just under "Casablanca"—high praise indeed.
I think that "Amélie" creates great emotion and some laughs. Audrey Tautou and Mathieu Kassovitz are great as the leading couple, it's hard to have chemistry when you only have one scene together, but they manage to do it.
"Amélie" is wonderfully bizarre and odd.

Score: 4 out of 4 stars

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