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Year: 2001
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain Download

Cast:

Audrey Tautou (Amélie Poulain), Mathieu Kassovitz (Nino Quincampoix), Rufus (Raphaël Poulain), Lorella Cravotta (Amandine Poulain), Serge Merlin (Raymond Dufayel), Jamel Debbouze (Lucien), Clotilde Mollet (Gina), Claire Maurier (Madame Suzanne - la patronne du café), Isabelle Nanty (Georgette), Dominique Pinon (Joseph), Artus de Penguern (Hipolito), Yolande Moreau (Madeleine Wallace), Urbain Cancelier (Collignon), Maurice Bénichou (Dominique Bretodeau), Michel Robin (Mr. Collignon), Andrée Damant (Mrs. Collignon), Claude Perron (Eva), Armelle (Philomène), Ticky Holgado (L'homme dans la photo), Kevin Fernandes (Bretodeau enfant)

Storyline:

Amelie, an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love.

Reviews:

To start off with, I heard a lot of good things about this movie when it was on the big screens but never got around to see it before it disappeared. Sitting here, long after in the aftermath, I might never forgive myself for missing that opportunity. Eventually I did get around to see it, though a small TV never does a film the same justice a theater does, and being a bit sceptic about the small hype this movie caused made me prejudice about it, but I must say I have never been so wrong before. And I am happy saying it.

This movies biggest crime, and yet its biggest asset, is that it is in French. Subtitles just does not bring full justice to a movie like this, and it is bound to scare off most of the audience not used to subtitled movies. Sad to say so, but I believe it is the truth. I do not know any French at all, but I sure wish I was fluent watching this movie!

Compared to most other films "Amelie" (and I will stick to "Amelie" since "Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" is a bit long to write) is based on a rather ordinary and plain story everyone can relate to, but it is given to us in a very special kind of way, mixed with wonderful little subplots and an almost chaotic amount of details. We get to see and experience the world and especially Paris through the filtering eyes and fantasy of Amelie, A Paris that might feel small and limited on the screen but in fact is just as big as it is in the eyes of Amelie.

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet brings to life the world of Amelie with colors, masterful camerawork and a few special effects (Well, I have certainly felt like melting a couple of times too in my life!). Some people I spoke to before seeing "Amelie" criticized it for being too childish and unrealistic, but I believe it is an essential part of the movie since Amelie herself is a very childish and imaginative young girl. She just happens to fall in love one day when she decides to embark on a quest. Jean-Pierre Jeunet manages to bring us along without losing control of the set or the plot. It is exactly this kind of movie that could easily be overdone and lose all of its magic in the hands of the wrong person, but Jean-Pierre Jeunet never slips a single time. For you who think you never heard of him before he is actually the same man who brought us "Alien 4" back in 1997, (I still refuse to believe he was involved in that horrible film...), and the wonderful "Delicatessen" in 1991.

Audrey Tautou could not be overemphasized for her importance in portraying Amelie. I am a bit embarrassed admitting it but I was almost falling in love with Amelie myself, forgetting she was only fiction on the screen. However she does not carry "Amelie" solely by herself. The cast makes an excellent whole and it is hard imagining switching anyone without affecting the whole outcome. Everyone manages to make the most out of their role and even though we only get to know some of them briefly they come alive just as much as Amelie herself does.

I could go on forever about "Amelie". It contains so many details and switches in tempo and camerawork it has to be seen more than once to take in and understand everything. Damn it, "Amelie" made me happy, laughing out loud at times, and very few movies affects me like that.

I very rarely give movies a 10, and I was indeed considering a 9 for a while, but for me this is one of those movies I will come back to time after time. Long after the CG thrills of hyped fantasy movies and big budget Hollywood productions have faded and been forgotten, Amelie will still be jumping around in my heart, doing all those silly and charming little things I wish I dared to do too...

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Short analysis on Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

For 20 years Jean-Pierre Jeunet collected small astonishing and intriguing moments in his life, taking notes in his diary, not knowing that he was up to co-write and direct one of the most successful film in French film history. Jean-Pierre Jeunet fell in love with the story and the film he titled Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain. But it's popularity was even a surprise to Jean-Pierre Jeunet himself as he once stated: `I guess I have to produce a film like Alien Resurrection (USA 1997) to make a movie like Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain', obviously not aware of the films potential. Unfortunately the film didn't win an Academy Award for the best foreign film in 2001 which still puzzles film fans all over the world.

I consider Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film as a masterpiece. In my opinion, it is an outstanding film in film history for its cinematography, the music, the story, but above all the overall atmosphere. Going to the cinema is like meditating. We sit for over one-hour and comfortable chair - our breath slows down and as the lights are switched off, we enter a dream world. We seek to escape our normal world just for a short period of time, to experience something totally different and yet, we want to find ourselves in this world. Thanks to Jean-Pierre Jeunet I had a wonderful dream, I will never forget.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet and his camera man, Bruno Delbonnel, wanted to make the film look like the Spanish painter did his artwork. To establish a dreamlike atmosphere they used mostly red and green, sometimes adding a little blue spot in the picture to set the contrast. Audrey Tautou (Amélie Poulain), mostly wears either red or green dresses, as well as the housekeeper (Yolande Moreau as Madelaine Wallace, concierge), and Amélie's mother (Lorella Cravotta as Amandine Poulin) in the beginning of the film. When Amélie Poulain sits down to watch the tragedy of her life on her TV, there is an outstanding of a blue lamp in the background. Sometimes the use of color gets very obvious. Amélie's apartment for example is almost completely red, the underground station and the train station are kept in green and the green grocery store stands out from the grey buildings. Honestly, I haven't noticed the extreme use of color the first time I watched the movie. I just wondered how Jeunet succeeded in establishing such a fabulous atmosphere.

The atmosphere is also supported by the magnificent music by Yann Tiersen who has composed 19 songs in 15 days for this movie. The principal motive appears in many variations somehow being joyful, yet at the same time sad - slow and sometimes fast and activating. The music supports every moment in the film and becomes the sound of a fabulous world.

Camera movement certainly contributes its part to the atmosphere. Balanced and unbalanced pictures contribute to the message of each shot. Right in the beginning when Amélie's mother is introduced, the picture is balanced symbolizing her pursuit for correctness and cleanliness. The same can be about the first shots of Amélie's father. When talking about his dislikes, the shots are unbalanced. But more impressing are some camera movements. For example there is an astonishing high angle shot of Amélie flipping stones on le canal in Paris. The camera shows her leaning on a fence, flying above her head then craning to a low angle shot to show her flipping stones in the direction of the camera. Another one worth mentioning might be the chase of the repairs person. Nino is shown falling up the steps chasing the repairs person for the photo machines. The camera turns to show the man getting in the car driving off. Still in a low angle Nino starts his moped, trying to follow the worker, almost hitting a car. Amélie is entering the picture running after Nino. The camera follows her, then turning almost 180° around her to show her hold Nino's red bag that he lost. When Amélie sits in front of the station, we see her in a long shot, the camera dollies in to fly over her head to an over-the-shoulder shot. Some of these camera movements are really awesome, not only from a technical point of view, but moreover from an aesthetic standpoint. They support the dreamlike atmosphere, adding interesting aspects to ordinary actions.

Audrey Tautou at the age of 23 is an astonishing actress. I really can't imagine anybody doing the job better than she did. To me she is not only giving life to the character, she lives it. It's wonderful to watch her. There was no moment when I had the faintest impression that there is something wrong or inappropriate in her acting. Also Mathieu Kassovitz as Nino Quincampoix is extraordinarily gifted with his talent. Most of the actors have done a wonderful job, although I want to mention the scene when Amélie's mother gets her nervous breakdown because of the suicidal fish. This scene appeared to me exaggerated which it probably was intended to be. Anyhow, the extreme close-up of Yolande Moreau was to intriguing to me, so I shrug back in disgust rather than laughing about it. I gues this was the director's choice, so I don't hold her responsible for that.

Another negative and distracting thing where some scenes when Jean-Pierre Jeunet decided to show the key in Amélie's pocket after copying it and bringing the original key back to the grocer's door in a very unrealistic way. He uses a digital effet showing the key's silhouette in a yellow light. This is a technique that hasn't been used very often in the film, except for showing Amélie's heart going faster and the old, blind man feeling very happy after being guided by Amélie. All these scenes disturb the otherwise wonderful cinematography. There could have been other ways to communicate the actions. A simple smile on the old's man face, a close-up of Amélie's hand letting the copied key slide into her pocket and the heart beat as a background sound would have done the same without disturbing the atmosphere.

Anyway, Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain is still my favorite movie. The narration is perfectly arranged taking its time to tell every detail. I enjoyed the subplots a lot that are told in a subtle way. Maybe the introduction is a bit to long, but still I enjoyed every second. Maybe I am too used to typical Hollywood productions, where you can tell the stages of a story by watching the clock. Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain has its own rhythm driving the story forward not by a superhero trying to achieve his goal, but by a hero that knows that she has time to arrange everything by strategic means. Maybe that is also one reason why I like this film so much. The story is told with time and not against time. There is no last minute-rescue, no time pressure, no need to act. It just takes its time as life does.

In my opinion, Jean-Pierre Jeunet created a masterpiece. A film that is not only outstanding because of the cinematography, the special effects or any other technical characteristics, but also combines the perfection of craftsmanship with a wonderful story, humour, and emotion.



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