Review 377: Amélie (2001)
Amélie is a film that kept popping up on lists. After putting off watching it for sometime, I finally decided I need to give it a chance. The film is quirky and in many ways reminded me of some of the stylistic elements from Scott Pilgrim that I love. The use of sound mixed with edits and camera movements really make the film quirky and enjoyable. There is a lot of dialogue or narration in the film making the subtitles sometimes feel like they are taking me away from the awesome visuals. I give Amélie the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.
Amélie is an extreme introvert as a result of her oddparents who lives in Paris. She’s developed a quirky comfort in her life and finds herself compelled to dish out her own sense of justice in a variety of ways. In her pursuits, she finds herself discovering love for the first time and handling it poses to be it’s own challenge.
The movie is absolutely stunning visually. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet use of colors that are often muted, yet, the greens and red really seem to pop is gorgeous.. More so is the interesting camera work and use of sound with them. One such example is Amélie working on making a letter to give another character. The camera zooms in on her and has a mechanical sound of movement. It stops and the sound responds. She does the next step in the process and the camera zooms tighter with the sounds again. It’s different than the rest of the film so easily stood out to me, but there are other things like it throughout. These elements remind me of Edgar Wright’s style quite a bit.
There is a lot to appreciate in the film, but Audrey Tautou definitely carries the film. The story and the characters are completely reliant on the success of Tautou’s performance as Amélie. She nails it and Amélie becomes a lovably quirky girl. Her odd enjoyments of sticking her hand into grain and skipping rocks. We are definitely rooting for her to find her love and when she takes an interest in Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz), who is every bit as quirky as her, we want them to get together. Her odd brand of justice comes to play here as she is too shy to just approach him. Instead she orchestrates a series of quests that he has to choose to follow.
I actually was ready to rate this film a Must See after maybe thirty minutes. However, the film did feel like it drags on for a bit too long. I’m not saying it’s slow, but there are a lot of storylines and some pay off more than others. Everything is wrapped up, but it feels like maybe too many things going on that don’t need to be there to tell the bigger story. Still, I really enjoyed this movie and the visuals alone make it worth watching.