Amelie (aka Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain)

Amelie (aka Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain)

Static Mass Rating: 5/5
Momentum Pictures

Release date: October 15th, 2011
Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 116 minutes

Year of production: 2001

Country of origin: France
Original language: French with English subtitles

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Writers: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Guillaume Laurant
Composer: Yann Tiersen

Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin

It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed. So much in the world has changed in that time. I’ve grown taller, greyer and my belt size has leapt forward a couple of inches, but for all those changes there also many things that have stayed the same.

I still enjoy mashmallows in my hot chocolate with a squirt of whipped cream – which probably explains the belt size – and I still love Amelie, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and sarring Audrey Tautou in the title role.


I remember seeing it when it was first released and falling in love with it, and upon each viewing since then, I’ve loved it more and more. It’s hard not to, everything about it makes it a perfect and timeless film and you can rely on it to always cheer you up when you’ve got a case of the deep blues.

Amelie works as a waitress in a café, she’s very shy but she enjoys helping others and after seeing the look of happiness on an old man’s face when she returns a collection of his childhood toys to him, she decides to look for more good deeds to do. Among these deeds are finding a boyfriend for her colleague Georgette (Isabelle Nanty), walking a blind man across the street and persuading her father to travel the world like he always dreamed of doing.


When she starts to notice Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz), a mysterious and handsome young man who collects discarded photos from a photo booth, Amelie realises she must help him too after he loses his photo album. This of course sets off a new chain of events in her heart, one that will eventually lead to love for the shy and quiet waitress.

Something which ties this film so close to my heart is of course the beautiful score composed by Yann Tiersen whose piano pieces bring something special and unique to the story. His music flows and is evokes the same free-spiritedness that Amelie herself has, but there’s also a loneliness and sadness that they both share.


Amelie is exquisitely shot and its views of Paris make the city look even more romantic and beautiful as usual with its evening glow and soft golden colours. As Amelie pursues Nino across Paris, one of my favourite scenes takes place with the majestic cathedral of Sacré Coeur behind them. Amelie sets Nino a task to follow the blue arrows, eventually unravelling the mystery of his photo obsession and uniting the pair who are so perfect for each other, bringing the story to a perfect close.

No matter how much time passes, twenty-five, fifty or even a hundred years, Amelie will still be igniting hearts and bringing smiles to the faces of those who search for meaning and love, as well as those who find it.

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