One of the highest grossing and widely exported French films of all time is Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s romantic comedy Amélie (Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain). After his acclaimed first 2 features, Delicatessen (1991) and The City of Lost Children (1995), Jeunet briefly flirted with Hollywood as the director of 1997’s Alien: Resurrection. Returning to his native country to produce his third French feature, Amélie is generally regarded to be his finest work to date.
Nominated for 5 Oscars and winning a BAFTA for best original screenplay, the film is currently ranked within IMDb’s top 100 films of all time.
Audrey Tautou is wonderful in the central role and such an engaging screen presence. She, similarly to the whole film, manages to portray quirkiness and eccentricity without grating on the audience or becoming annoying. The film is beautifully shot, with a unique colour palette and with touches of fantasy throughout, the visuals alone are completely breathtaking.
The use of music is wonderful, and the central plot is carried along brilliantly with dozens of weird and wonderful comedic asides and incidental moments to keep the films pace at an almost frantic tempo at times.
Amélie succeeds on every level and manages to give the audience something very special and unique, and that is the feeling of absolute joy and wonder. It’s not too often you’ll take that away from a romantic comedy, but you will never see another one quite like this.