Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Amélie (2001)

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Starring Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta

Author

A harmony of charm, style, cuteness, and light humor about life’s little things. This is a movie about nothing, but the richness of its characters is almost enough to keep it afloat for the entire two hours. I really like what Jeunet did with this one.

Brilliant writing and wonderful observation of human behavior make all of the characters real and interesting and fun.

Tatou is very cute. Expressive eyes, great skin. Can’t imagine anyone else in the role. But her character is strangely sexualized. On the one hand, she is obviously attractive and there are a few sexy shots of her, and she’s constantly exposed to sexual imagery around her. But there’s a strange disconnectedness from it all, from her sterile smile when she was first intimate to her indifference toward her sexual surroundings. She sure had a nice place for a shitty waitressing job.

Beautiful photography, with shots that are fun and beautiful and carefully framed. Sets and scenes have been carefully and beautifully colored, giving the film wonderful artistic life. Fanciful editing ties it all together nicely.

And I love the music. The accordion soundtrack offers the perfect mix of silliness and timelessness. Sound effects are huge in this one, accenting every movement with personality and detail. The TV clips were hilarious.

But the story does drag a bit. We know she’s cute and inherently good, but it just takes too long for her to grow and accomplish something.

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