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Amélie (2001)

DaveF

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Title: Amélie (2001)

Tagline: One person can change your life forever.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Clotilde Mollet, Claire Maurier, Isabelle Nanty, Dominique Pinon, Artus de Penguern, Yolande Moreau, Urbain Cancelier, Maurice Bénichou, Michel Robin, Andrée Damant, Claude Perron, Armelle, Ticky Holgado, André Dussollier, Eugène Berthier, Charles-Roger Bour, Kevin Dias, Flora Guiet, Amaury Babault, Marion Pressburger, Luc Palun, Fabienne Chaudat, Dominique Bettenfeld, Jacques Viala, Fabien Béhar, Jonathan Joss, Jean-Pierre Becker, Jean Darie, Thierry Gibault, François Bercovici, Franck Monier, Guillaume Viry, Valérie Zarrouk, Marie-Laure Descoureaux, Sophie Tellier, Gérald Weingand, François Viaur, Paule Daré, Marc Amyot, Myriam Labbé, Jean Rupert, Frankie Pain, Julianna Kovacs, Philippe Paimblanc, Mady Malroux, Monette Malroux, Robert Gendreu, Valériane de Villeneuve, Isis Peyrade, Raymonde Heudeline, Christiane Bopp, Thierry Arfeuillères, Jerry Lucas, Patrick Paroux, François Aubineau, Philippe Beautier, Karine Asure, Régis Iacono, Franck-Olivier Bonnet, Alain Floret, Jean-Pol Brissart, Frédéric Mitterrand, Laurent Delpit, Manoush, Jacques Thébault, Dean Baykan, Clément Chebli, Eloïse Labro, Rudy Galindo, Federico Martín Bahamontes, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jean-Michel Larqué, Thierry Roland

Release: 2001-04-25

Runtime: 122

Plot: At a tiny Parisian café, the adorable yet painfully shy Amélie accidentally discovers a gift for helping others. Soon Amelie is spending her days as a matchmaker, guardian angel, and all-around do-gooder. But when she bumps into a handsome stranger, will she find the courage to become the star of her very own love story?

Preparing or a vacation to Paris, my wife and I watched Amelie last night. This is a favorite, one of those few movies I’ve rewatched (not being a big re-watcher). We don’t remember when we first watched it. But I think I saw it at The Little Theater in Rochester, NY. I bought it on DVD and think I watched it with my now wife, then just barely dating not-girlfriend. Now I’ve got it on blu-ray and have watched a couple times since. I suppose I’m overdue to re-re-buy on 4K.

I searched and found a couple of old HTF threads on the movie. I thought this might have been one of the earliest movies I’d have participated in here, but doesn’t seem to be.

https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/amelie-or-in-the-bedroom.41392/

https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/htf-review-amelie-highly-recommended-with-screenshots.70195/

Twenty years later, Amelie lands differently for me. I still love it. I’m still surprised by how weird and quirky, and how sexual it is. But the storyline of Amelie trying to redirect Joseph and Georgette’s attentions to each other is less enjoyable to me now, as I see Joseph now against 2023 norms and he’s truly disgusting and should simply have been banned from the The Twin Windmills. But I think I see Amelie’s emotional journey more strongly. I always remember the quirky fun feeling of the film. But I forgot about the inner arc of her social anxiety and disconnect from people, and struggle to overcome her fear, take a risk to really connect with someone. (And even the execrable Joseph, her ill-considered effort to connect him to Georgette is reflective of her youth and naivete.)

I wish I had more time with Dufayel and Rufus. But that’s the charm of limit of a movie: all we can have are vignettes within this short story.

Amelie, the character, is basically my age. Likewise Audrey Tautou, a few years younger. So I saw Amelie about age 30, still close enough in some ways to my own naive youth and struggles with dating, and ridiculous dreams of the future.

Now two decades later, it’s a time capsule to that time in my life in ways. I watched Ebert’s review of Amelie: it played that scene where she collapses into a pool of water. A time with CG was good enough to be good, and available enough to start being used in “art” films. I recall he loved it. Between the trailers and the review, that was likely the combo that made me want to see it.

I bought the soundtrack on CD at some point. Or maybe it was a Christmas present? I’ve had it forever as far as I remember now. It’s one of the all-time greats, for me. Hearing it again in the movie, and putting context back to some of the songs was a minor revelation anew.

I don’t tend to look back, in some ways that others do. I’ve realized about myself that I don’t rewatch favorite TV and film. There’s always something new to see, so how can I take time to re-watch what I’ve already seen? And nostalgia-centric fanfare that’s all the rage today for us Gen X’ers doesn’t land quite as strongly for me, since I want new.

But that’s not to say I’m not a nostalgic old fool. And watching Amelie last night left me nostalgic, even piquant. It really left me longing for the halcyon parts of my 20’s and 30’s. I don’t really want to go back, because life is never that great. But being of that age, and discovering movies like Amelie for the first time, and just dating the woman that is now my wife…Amelie took me back there.
 

jayembee

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"I don’t tend to look back, in some ways that others do. I’ve realized about myself that I don’t rewatch favorite TV and film. There’s always something new to see, so how can I take time to re-watch what I’ve already seen?"

I get that. On the other hand, I've often found that in re-watching, you see things you didn't notice before. (In fact, I tend o believe that the best films are the ones where you see something new every time you watch it, no matter how many times that might be.) Sometimes those things aren't significant, in other cases, they can be enough of a revelation, it's like seeing a completely new film.

Also, you might want to consider what you said here:
"Amelie, the character, is basically my age. Likewise Audrey Tautou, a few years younger. So I saw Amelie about age 30, still close enough in some ways to my own naive youth and struggles with dating, and ridiculous dreams of the future.
Now two decades later, it’s a time capsule to that time in my life in ways."

When a fair amount of time passes, your life and your perspective can change in many ways. In this respect, re-watching a film isn't so much showing you something you didn't notice before, but you are seeing the same things in different ways. than you did before.

Which, when you think about it, pretty much amounts to the same thing.
 

JohnRice

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I think my wife has watched that, but I've never gotten to viewing any other work with Audrey Tautou or Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Perhaps one day, I'll get to this one.
It's remarkably similar to Amélie in a lot of ways, but it is a rather long movie, plus it's quite dark, thematically. Definitely a statement being made in it. It's sometimes jokingly referred to as Amélie Goes to War.

The one thing is, it has a boatload of dialog, so there is a lot of reading.
 
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Edwin-S

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I think my wife has watched that, but I've never gotten to viewing any other work with Audrey Tautou or Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Perhaps one day, I'll get to this one.

It's remarkably similar to Amélie in a lot of ways, but it is a rather long movie, plus it's quite dark, thematically. Definitely a statement being made in it. It's sometimes jokingly referred to as Amélie Goes to War.

The one thing is, it has a boatload of dialog, so there is a lot of reading.
A Very Long Engagement is okay, but "Amelie" is better in my book and has a higher rewatch value.
 

FincherFan

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apologies for slightly hijacking this thread, but it is related.



has anyone pruchased the iTunes HD version of “A Very Long Engagement”? on another blu-ray site, someone mentioned that the subtitles were quite large. i asked for a screenshot, but my question hasn’t been answered. can anyone here provide one or comment on the size? i’d love to buy it since it’s almost always $10 or less, but if the subs are too large, it’ll ruin viewing the film for me.



again, apologies for the slight hijack.
 

JohnRice

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A Very Long Engagement is okay, but "Amelie" is better in my book and has a higher rewatch value.
As is often the case, to each their own. I explained why I prefer A Very Long Engagement, as having a deeper meaning, though it is also much darker. For some individuals, that makes a movie less re-watchable, but for me it often means it has a lot more complexity and more to derive from subsequent viewings.

They are most definitely (rather odd) companion pieces. They are so different in their ultimate intent that I expect virtually everyone will strongly prefer one over the other.

I also apologize for somewhat hijacking this thread, which is about Amélie.

I do have the iTunes HD of AVLE, so I'll respond about that in a bit, but then try to leave this thread to its real topic.
 

JohnRice

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apologies for slightly hijacking this thread, but it is related.



has anyone pruchased the iTunes HD version of “A Very Long Engagement”? on another blu-ray site, someone mentioned that the subtitles were quite large. i asked for a screenshot, but my question hasn’t been answered. can anyone here provide one or comment on the size? i’d love to buy it since it’s almost always $10 or less, but if the subs are too large, it’ll ruin viewing the film for me.



again, apologies for the slight hijack.
The subs are hard coded, and they are fairly large. I wouldn’t say I find them annoying, but they are larger than normal.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I think my wife has watched that, but I've never gotten to viewing any other work with Audrey Tautou or Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Perhaps one day, I'll get to this one.

It's remarkably similar to Amélie in a lot of ways, but it is a rather long movie, plus it's quite dark, thematically. Definitely a statement being made in it. It's sometimes jokingly referred to as Amélie Goes to War.

The one thing is, it has a boatload of dialog, so there is a lot of reading.

For whatever reason, I haven't seen it yet either -- I probably almost did at some points via one of the streaming services over the last few years, but something else invariably drew my interest away. Hadn't realized it's a Jeunet film though (nor any similarity to Amélie). Somewhat oddly, there's still no BD release over here.

@DaveF, definitely check out some of their other films though even if not AVLE. Love Delicatessen, which is of course very different (and generally dark), if still whimsical, and I also enjoyed Micmac myself though that's much more slight than the former or Amélie for that matter. The City of Lost Children should also be very worthwhile, if you care for such strange tales, though that too lands on the rather dark side, if again still somewhat whimsical in its own way... but the PQ of any release you find may not be so great though. None of those other films involve Tautou though, if that matters.

I haven't seen that many of Tautou's other films. Just a few, and the best may be Dirty Pretty Things, but that's completely different and all serious (and dark) drama...

_Man_
 

DaveF

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For 20 years I’ve meant to see Jeunet’s other work, especially Delicatessen. And yet, here I am.

On my list. I’ve been more intentional the last couple years of seeking out older movies I’d inexplicably missed. I’ll hopefully get to some Jeunet finally.
 

Walter Kittel

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On the topic of Jenet films; It has been ages since I last viewed City of Lost Children, but I do recall enjoying it a great deal. ( I think around the time the BD was released must've been my last viewing? ) I need to watch it, and Amelie again.

- Walter.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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On the topic of Jenet films; It has been ages since I last viewed City of Lost Children, but I do recall enjoying it a great deal. ( I think around the time the BD was released must've been my last viewing? ) I need to watch it, and Amelie again.

- Walter.

Just realized there's apparently a 4K disc release that should look much better than the old BD, but Sony only released it as part of a fairly big 4K boxset of seemingly completely unrelated films late last year (much like their Columbia Classics boxsets, but bigger, generally less prestigious set).

StudioCanal apparently recently released that as standalone in the UK and seems readily available (enough) for import here. Not completely sure if it's the exact same encode (or whether SC produced their own potentially worse encode from same transfer). Probably the version to get once it's verified to be the same encode -- the included probably region-B-locked BD is likely similarly poor PQ-wise as the old Sony BD, but might have some slight advantages, eg. 5.1 audio, slightly better extras.

Unfortunately, doesn't seem currently available to buy on digital for those inclined towards that...

_Man_
 

DaveF

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Having lunch in The Twin Windmills today :)
 

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