Film Length: 122 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1)
She'll change your life
From the moment it begins, Amelie bursts
with a surge of joy and energy. It's a fable of
sorts about a young girl who finds happiness by
coming out of her shell and reaching out to others.
Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) is an innocent,
imaginative girl raised in isolation by her father,
full of shyness and seemingly lacking in social
skills despite her waitress job at the Deux Moulins
One day Amelie discovers a small box of childhood
trinkets hidden her bathroom wall and vows to find
its owner. The success of this venture inspires
the young woman to help others, anonymously
influencing and altering their lives.
Director Jeunet populates his film with a splendid
array of colorful characters like Raymond Dufayel
(Serge Merlin), an old man with an illness that
causes his bones to shatter like glass or Lucien
(Jamel Debbouze), a guy who finds beauty in
vegetables, or a landlady (Yolande Moreau) who
continues to dwell on the husband who left her
thirty years ago. As for the grocer(Urbain Cancelier),
who is cruel to his assistant, Amelie has special
plans for him.
Amelie is a wonderfully uplifting motion picture
that features a sparkling performance by Audrey
Tautou in the lead role. You can't help but to
be mesmerized by her large brown saucer-shaped
eyes that transmits such loving innocence. The
film shows such an affection for it's lead character
as well as all the characters she meets.
How is the transfer?
Trust me on this , Amelie is as close to
transfer perfection as you can get. In fact, not
since Moulin Rouge have I seen a film with
such eye-popping color against a pristine transfer.
This film is an absolute treat for the eyes.
Although green dominates the film's color pallet
(it can be seen in every scene), the film is filled
with eye-popping saturated colors with unimaginable
intensity. The colors are so vivid in some scenes
that I found the slightest bit of over saturation in
some of the reds. Still, this is one of the best
transfers out there featuring a crisp, clean picture
and not a hint of any video noise.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is quite good, but not
overly aggressive. The front channels feature
strong and distinct stereo separation with a crisp
robust sound that brings out the film's tiniest
sounds with amazing clarity. The rears are
effectively used for adding ambient effects. As
Amelie and her father talk in the garden, the sound
of howling wind envelopes the listening area. The
rears provide ambience to the many train station
scenes, with sounds of crowd and PA announcements
amongst reverberating echo.
There is extremely strong, intense LFE channel
activity, but it only kicks in a few times during
the course of the film. There are a few heavy THUDS
that occur at key points of the film, and at
moments emphasis needs to be used in the film's
soundtrack. What becomes the BEST use of the LFE
channel comes at a point in the film that I will
keep a surprise. Let's just say it occurs during
a toilette scene and the bass really adds to the
scene's hilarity. This is the first time I have
noticed the subwoofer channel used so creatively
in this manner.
Miramax has released Amelie as a deluxe
2-disc Special Edition.
Amelie arrives in an attractive green slipcase
packaging. A porthole on the front case shows
Amelie's smiling face. The innards slide out to
reveal a 3-pane gatefold that contains the two
DVD discs stationed in plastic hub housing.
Disc One contains the 122 minute film.
Be sure to click on the SETUP menu to
choose your choice of English or Spanish subtitles.
A full length commentary by Director
Jean-Pierre Juenett is featured in both English
A Sneak Peek area contains a promo for
the film's soundtrack, trailers for Behind
The Sun; Life is Beautiful; Il Postino and
The Closet. There is also a very nice
promo for Miramax titles.
Disc Two contains the wealth of supplemental
material. Let's take a look at it....
The Look of Amelie explores Director
Jean-Pierre Juenett's vision of making a film
that stands out as being bold and bright, filled
with saturated colors. Cinematographer Bruno
Delbonnel gives us many examples of how color
is used throughout the film to effectively bring
out the character's mood. Director Jeunnet is
noted for his precision in filmmaking as we watch
him meticulously go through photos and storyboards
in preparation for the following day's shoot. The
Cinematographer and Director talk about scouting
out locations in Paris, which were essential in
bringing a certain point of reality to the film.
Jeunette talks about the advantages of digital
editing where he was able to greatly alter the
color of the film and have an explosion of colors
available at his command to do as he wished.
(length: approx. 12.5 minutes)
Fantasies of Audrey Tautou contain about
2 minutes of the actress giggling, making faces
and cracking up. This is a short collage of all
the goofs that didn't make it to the screen.
There are three Screen Tests for the
principal cast members, Audrey Tautou, Urbain
Cancelier (the grocer) and Yolande Moreau
(red-head landlady upstairs). It's quite a
pleasure to watch Audrey out of character as
she is such an adorable young female. Watch
Urbain deliver his lines with such anger only
to totally lose it and crack up at the very end.
Taped in front of a live audience at the American
Cinematheque in Los Angeles earlier this year, a
Q&A with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet brings
the Director on stage in a very upbeat and funny
interview. It's startling to see how good the
Director's command of the English language is,
given the fact that two years earlier, he didn't
know the language. The Director does misunderstand
one of the questions concerning the financing of
the film, giving a totally irrelevant answer, but
nonetheless this is a really candid interview where
the Director takes questions from the audience in
attendance. One of the most interesting questions
is how the stone skipping sequences were shot
given the fact that Audrey could not do them herself.
(length: approx. 24 minutes)
A Q&A with Director and Cast brings Director
Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Audrey Tatou, Mathieu Kassovitz
and Jamel Daebbouze (grocery boy) on stage in front
of the French press. A very lively interview
fields questions from the press, with some very
humorous answers from the cast, including Kassovitz
who humorously describes the problems of shooting
a train station sequence with a car in view that
was not supposed to be there. Be certain to turn
on the SUBTITLES as this entire sequence is in French.
(length: approx. 5.5 minutes)
A Storyboard Comparison brings us to the
fun fair scene where Amelie rides through the spook
house. Using dual windows, we see a split-screen
of the film's original storyboard drawings set against
the final cut of the film.
An Intimate Chat with Jean-Pierre Jeunet shows
that the Director is a very cool individual -- he
collects and appreciates DVDs! He so absolutely
impressed with Director Shyamalan's commentary
on The Sixth Sense DVD that he wanted to
do the same for his film. So, here we are, a sort
of video commentary of the Director giving us all
the inside facts about bringing together this film,
including how he chose the film's title, how he
chose the actors involved, the various test
screenings in the United States, and the initial
ambitious reviews by the press.
(length: approx. 20.5 minutes)
I found this really fun to watch. Home Movies
takes us inside The making of Amelie, with
raw footage taken on the set and in preproduction.
We begin with watching the beautiful long-haired
Audrey Tatou getting her hair cut. Next, we watch
groups of people huddling inside a photo machine
that snaps the small images that are later seen in
the film's found scrapbook. Next we watch Director
Jeunet going through the many storyboards and
planning his shots. A cute segment with Jamel
Debbouze shows us the kind of humor the actor
has, as he makes fun of Director Jeunet. Now
THIS is interesting... we watch Jeaunet
filming the various orgasm sequences with couples
in bed or leaned up against a table. All of this
concludes with some funny skewed auto portraits
that were taken of the cast.
(length: approx. 12.5 minutes)
In Trailers and TV Spots there is the
original U.S. theatrical trailer as well as the
original French theatrical trailer. There are 12
U.S. TV spots and 5 French TV spots.
The Amelie Scrapbook are filled with
publicity and promotional photographs. There
are many stills taken behind the scenes, as well
as a short storyboard of the spook house sequence
and french poster concepts. The most interesting of
all these are the many photographs of the garden
Quirky, inventive and visually amazing, Amelie
is the kind of film you rarely see coming out of
Hollywood these days.
This is the type of film that most people probably
ignored during its theatrical run despite the praise
of critics worldwide. I realize how tough it is to
sell foreign films to the members of this forum,
but I also have faith that there are many of you
who will look outside the mainstream mentality and
take a chance on a film that will ultimately
Can't recommend this one enough!
Release Date: July 16, 2002