August 6, 2009

Amélie - 2001

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Writers: Guillaume Laurant & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring: Audrey Tautou

Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain) is an Ang Lee-esque jump from Jeunet's previous film, Alien: Resurrection.

IMDB plot synopsis: "Amélie is a shy waitress in a Montmartre café. After returning a long-lost childhood treasure to a former occupant of her apartment, and seeing the effect it has on him, she decides to set out on a mission to make others happy and in the meantime pursues a quirky guy who collects discarded photo booth pictures."

It begins thusly: "On September 3rd 1973, at 6:28pm and 32 seconds, a bluebottle fly capable of 14,670 wing beats a minute landed on Rue St Vincent, Montmartre. At the same moment, on a restaurant terrace nearby, the wind magically made two glasses dance unseen on a tablecloth. Meanwhile, in a 5th-floor flat, 28 Avenue Trudaine, Paris 9, returning from his best friend's funeral, Eugène Colère erased his name from his address book. At the same moment, a sperm with one X chromosome, belonging to Raphaël Poulain, made a dash for an egg in his wife Amandine. Nine months later, Amélie Poulain was born. " This same style of speech is maintained throughout the film, both in dialogue and further narration. Cinematography is nothing short of gorgeous, painting an idyllic picture of small-town life in France. This film got five Academy Award nominations the year that it came out, including best original screenplay (quite a feat for a film not in the native tongue of the Academy voters). I can't say enough about this film; it's truly nothing short of magical.

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