Amelie (2001)

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Wtitten by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillame Laurent
(number 204)

I remember seeing this film at Reading Courteney Central not too long after it first opened (I think?) and the whole cinema laughing their asses off at the revenge she takes on her neighbour as a young girl – ruining his reception for only the goals of the football game.

It was a pleasure to watch this with flatmates, especially since Blair hadn’t seen it before and began yelling at the screen during the football sequence.

This movie introduced the world to Audrey Tatou, and she is filmed to be incredibly luminous and adorable. She’s our point of view character but she’s also filmed as a sort of quirky goddess, adorkable before Zooey Deschenal got her own TV show about it.

As well as lovingly filming her, it’s a visual love diary of Paris, especially Montmarte and it always makes me long to go there and explore. Eat fresh bread and cakes, drink wine in the afternoon and sit in a cafe, writing. Someday… Mmmm creme brulee…. This film also gave me a serious love of photo booths and the photo strips that come out of them, as well as making me want to do a strange scrapbook of torn photos. Never take life too seriously, eh?

I love the magical realism of this film. The bright, immersive colour palette, the music and the intense emotions of it. It’s easy to see myself in the hopeless dreamers, the girl who lives so much in her own head that she’s afraid to live. I have been working very hard on this in the last few years: trying not to let my imagination run away with me, making up stories which I start to half believe… but also in being brave and pursuing what I want. It’s seldom easy, and they are careful to show that it’s not easy for Amelie either. She is emotional and terrified and her strategems are used to entice and also distance. When it comes time to step outside her comfort zone she is nearly paralysed. But she gets what so many of us would love: a pep talk from a wise and respected older person who inspires her to get out there and do it.

If you have a wise and respected older person willing to give you perfect advice at just the right time to inspire you to action that’s awesome, but for most of us that voice has to come from within. But hey, life’s not really like the movies is it? The first step has to be believing that you are worthy of having love in your life, pursuing it and being loved. Being open and vulnerable to being and accepting love, even if it scares you.

Bechdel test: Yes, first very early on when Amandine is teaching Amelie to read, later when she talks to Philomene about the prank with the gnome, when femme!Bredotaeu hits on her, and there’s several other instances of small talk. It is a pity, that in a film with so very many named, interesting and complex female characters that they are frequently only talking about men, but maybe that’s the downfall/cost of it being a romance? There are several scenes of men talking about things other than women though…

Best line: Without you, today’s emotions would be the scurf of yesterday’s.

State of Mind: Charmed. As ever. Now, if I wasn’t so sleepy I’d go out there and seize the day in some way 🙂


One thought on “Amelie (2001)

  1. Ah yes, brilliant amazing movie. Simply a masterpiece. I think this is one of the longest reviews or posts you have written yet! Tatou must have inspired verbosity! Bravo. 😉

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