Film Nerd’s Choice: Amelie
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Cast: Audrey Tatou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Dominique Pinon
Synopsis: Follows the adventures of young French lass Amelie as she embarks on a mission to do good for others. Her methods are certainly unique, but is she so busy taking care of others that she is keeping nothing to ensure her own happiness??
A Review by Film Nerd.
Can it be any surprise that I select this as my film to watch to make myself feel good. The entire plot is based around helping others fulfil their dreams, or to recover what is missing from their lives. Yet it is more than just a simple do-gooder tale, with the story being told in a fresh, unique perspective that truly makes this film come alive. I challenge anyone to reach the end credits without having smiled on multiple occasions.
The strength of the film not only comes from the plot, and some at times erratic and otherworldly cinematography, but mainly on the strength of Tatou’s performance alone. The poster above summarises this element perfectly, the cheeky mysterious grin being one that represents the character. Her inspiration for her acts of kindness comes from finding a box of treasures in her apartment that clearly were the prized possessions of a young boy. She sought to return these treasures, and her success had her embark on a quest to do that for all those around her, whether it be her bickering co-workers and customers looking for romance, getting her reclusive, gnome obsessed father out of his seclusion, or even simple as leading a blind man and describing what she sees. The resolution of each act is not even the great part, yet the journey is always a fun ride.
Meanwhile, romance brews, yet she spends almost the entire film avoiding the subject of her feelings. He is clearly interested by this mysterious girl, just as he has another mystery to solve on the side (which Amelie of course helps him solve hidden from sight). It is the only true frustration of the enture film, and yet it is intelligent cinema as it gives the audience a through-line to follow rather than a collection of disjointed vignettes. Of course, this being a feel-good fil all works out well, but even watching it many times does little to dilute the warmth that this film delivers.
5 stars out of 5