*** Official "LE FABULEUX DESTIN D'AMELIE POULAIN" Review Thread

Kim Donald

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Just saw Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" (Amelie from Montmartre) last night... http://us.imdb.com/Title?0211915 without a doubt my favorite film this year, and in the top five films of the last few years. I am going back Monday to see it again; very few films leave me wanting to see them again a few days after the first viewing. Don't miss this film! Not only does it have a fabulous look but a wonderful uplifting story, After several years where I found French films not so interesting the French film industry is on a roll this year, right now my two favorite films released in 2001 are both from France "Amélie" and "Le Pacte des loups" (Brotherhood of the Wolf)... http://us.imdb.com/Title?0237534
kd
[Edited last by Kim Donald on August 26, 2001 at 10:57 AM]
 

Sandra

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For the ones who liked 'Delicatessen' and 'City of the Lost Children', they certainly will like Amelie. I wasn't one of those but still greatly enjoyed it (saw it in France last week). Still quirky but less aloof (that doesn't make sense does it??), let say more poetic than weird.
Great gallery of characters as usual (lots of the actors are know in France from TV (Deschiens, Jamel) which is fun if you know them) and Matthieu Kassovitz is as good an actor as a director.
I'll snatch it as soon as it comes out on DVD (now lets hope the Franch release will have english subtitles, I'd like to let my british friends enjoy it too). Should be out fairly soon although it still is playing in cinema (a bit like Bridget Jones' Diary here in terms of longevity/success).
If you have the chance, go
 

Armand Simonis

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As I wrote in thread a couple of months ago, Amélie is genuine masterpiece. By a large margin the best film I saw (twice) this year. I needed to drive almost two hours to get to Antwerpen in Belgium for it, because I live in Rotterdam in The Netherlands and the film will be released in Holland in december(!). The trip was absolutely worth it though - no problem. I have ordered two filmposters of the film on a French wbsite, one for my office and one at home. I can't wait for the DVD; the movie is pure magic.
 

Kim Donald

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My favorite film this year!!!
I saw it twice in one week, I saw it dubbed into german and loved it so much I went back that weekend and saw it again in French with subs....
Sorry I was going to link this Thread to Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain
but hit Reply on the wrong message.
kd
[Edited last by Kim Donald on September 17, 2001 at 05:49 AM]
[Edited last by Kim Donald on September 17, 2001 at 05:52 AM]
 

Ugo Scarlata

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My favorite film this year!!!
Ditto! I doubt that any other film I will see this year will be able to top this one...
I took this picture of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet receiving a standing ovation, after last week's screening at the Toronto International Film Festival:

While presenting the movie, he made sure to remind the audience that it is merely a fable, and that the real Paris is nothing like the city depicted in his film.

On Sunday, Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain won the People's Choice award at the festival. Last year's winner was Wo Hu Cang Long (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and in 1999 the winner was American Beauty. I think it is safe to presume that Amélie is a name we will be hearing frequently come Oscar time....
Salut à tous!
------------------
[ http://ugo.scarlata.it/?pid=about&cid=3
 

Iain Lambert

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Well, I finally saw this on Saturday. WOW! Jeunet is comprehensively back on form after his little US outing, and thats from someone who counts La Cité Des Enfants Perdus as his all-time favorite French-language film. Wonderfully sweet, brilliantly funny and absolutely gorgeous to watch.
As for the R rating in the US, thats fairly obvious - it exceeds the limit for PG-13, where women must keep half their tops on. A whole pair is enough to knock you up to R, if memory serves. Nino's occupation is probably enough to get 'R'red as well.
 

Vanessa

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Just want to say that I agree with all the other comments on Amelie. I saw this film when I was in London on vacation, and it's definitely one of my favorites from this year. I almost didn't see it as the posters had this had Audrey Tautou looking pretty creepy, but since it was Jeunet, I went and I'm glad I did.
Also, if anything I'd guess that the 'R' rating is due to Spoiler:the porn shop sequences...
Vanessa
[Edited last by Vanessa on October 30, 2001 at 12:48 PM]
 

gregstaten

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Agreed. I caught this in Montreal last week while up there on business. I'll definitely catch it again here and eagerly await its release on DVD.
This is one of the best films I've seen this year and definitely one of the most original films I've seen in years.
-greg
 

Derek Miner

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Happy to bump this thread back up...

I just came back from seeing Amélie, and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about it. I certainly do not get out to many foreign films, but I kept hearing such great things about this one. I was not disappointed, and it has now surpassed Ghost World as my favorite film of the year.

As for the rating controversy... I can just imagine some studio saying, "We love this movie, but take out all the sex stuff. It won't play in the midwest." On one hand, I take my movies as they come, and I don't find much to be out of line or offensive. While I was nowhere near bothered by the sexual content of Amélie, I did find myself wishing it wasn't there because I would love to recommend the film to my Grandmother. I guess I'll just chalk this up to different cultural mores.

And those of you suggesting reasons for the R rating forgot probably the most likely candidate:

The scene were Amélie wonders about how many people are having orgasms!
 

Simon Massey

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An aboslutely wonderful film. The trailers I saw for this were not that good and did not make me want to see this, but I had read such good things about it that I decided to go anyway, and I was not disappointed.

To call this movie "feel-good" doesn't do it justice, as it suggest it is like a typical by-the-numbers romantic comedy, which it definitely isn't. To call this film "quirky" might put people off as well, but it is all of these things and more.

This is the kind of film which makes up for all the crap that we see in the cinema these days, and I for one am going to see it again. GO AND SEE IT.
 

Joel Turpin

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Yes!!!!!!!!!!
I knew the HTF wouldn't disappoint me.
Finally got to go see Amelie last night, and I'm completely in the "Best film I've seen this year" camp. What floored me most, I think, was the realization that I was watching one of the very, very few well-written "happy" movies to come out in years. Usually, the majority of your "feel good" flicks are a lot of tripe - bland, one-dimensional characters who only exist to play to their stereotype or off of their romantic counterpart. Meanwhile, the best scripts tend to feature drug addicts, or broken homes, people struggling to get by. Nothing wrong with those movies, especially when well done. But, it is nice to see this one, and gratifying to see the reactions that it's receiving from the audiences and critics alike.
out of

Joel
 

Ted Todorov

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How can any sane human being think that this wonderful and uplifting movie can harm people under 17 in any way? Actually, I think that if every living creature saw ''Amélie,'' there would be peace on Earth.
I don't know how Ebert answered, but my answer is simple -- no sane human being would willingly serve on the MPAA's rating board or agree to otherwise act as a censor. Having grown up in a society where censorship was king, I can assure you that such "people" are neither sane nor human.
That said, I liked Amélie well enough, but it hardly is so good that it will bring peace on earth. Ghost World on the other hand just might and if that doesn't work there is always Stolen Kisses or Shampoo (depending on whether you prefer more romance or more sex with your peace).
Ted
 

JohnS

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I saw this movie, and was amazinly overwhelmed with this movie.
This is a movie that really makes you appreciate foreign films.
I like to think of it as a rusty little box, with lots of treasures inside

RATING=A
#3 on my best list of 2001!
I want that region 2 DVD
 

ChrisMatson

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This is one of the best, if not THE best, movies I have seen this year or in recent years. I absolutely loved the story, the acting, and the presentation. This one is highly reccommended.
out of

 

Bob McLaughlin

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Saw it last Wednesday, loved it. I have been following Jeunet since I happened upon "Delicatessen" in a video bargain bin many years ago, and I have to say, this is his best yet.

Since this movie seems to be getting a lot of praise that I agree with, I'll throw in some criticism. If I had to nitpick, I would say that at a certain point, it is inevitable that she is going to hook up with her man, things drag for just a bit...maybe ten minutes too long.


Just my opinion...maybe I was too eager to see things move along! Anyway, this is a no-brainer purchase when it comes to DVD some day!
 

Matthew Brown

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This movie took me totally by surprise. I really enjoyed it. It's the kind of movie you can fall in love with. I will definately be seeing this one again.

I know Miramx will not do it justice on DVD. I wish I understood French so I can get the French DVD.

Miramax should not be allowed to distribute these movies. They don't do them justice.

Matt
 

Edwin Pereyra

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My only 4-star film so far this year is A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. With that film, I waited posting my thoughts until my second viewing. I have taken the same approach with Amelie, which now becomes my second 4-star film for 2001.
The film chronicles the life of Amelie (Audrey Tautou) literally from conception to young adulthood as a Paris waitress. One day, she discovers an old box of childhood treasures hidden beneath her apartment floorboards. She anonymously returns it to its rightful owner while watching from a distance as his life is transformed by the discovery. That event leads her to transform the lives of other people around her including her single co-workers, an obsessed patron, her lonely father, a broken hearted neighbor, a reclusive artist, and an abusive store owner - all in her own way and without their specific knowledge. In the midst of all these acts of kindness and revenge (yes, there’s one of those too), she meets and odd but interesting young man whom she starts caring for. Little does she know that her biggest challenge of transforming someone into a more courageous person is yet to come – herself.
Amelie is visually stunning both in its cinematography and director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s camera work. But unlike other films whose visual style takes center stage and in the process becomes a runaway element leaving everything else behind including its storyline, here, the film’s narrative is actually complimented by its visual style. It’s simple yet affecting story is brought to a different level with the help of some very clever visual effects. Had the narrative been told in a more dramatic and straightforward manner, the film would not have been quite as impressive.
It’s hard to categorize Amelie into a specific genre. I found myself laughing quite a bit and having fun with it. I guess, if I have to, I would put it under the comedy/fantasy genre.
There is so much to like about Amelie including Audrey Tautou’s acting turn. The film, in many ways, touches on the theme of solitude and achieves it greatly by a surprisingly uplifting story and a very impressive visual style by Jeunet. It is a celebration of life in the most memorable fashion of them all – fun and spontaneous.
Now, it’s time for me to read the rest of the comments in this thread.
~Edwin
 

Robert Crawford

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This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning! If you need to discuss those type of issues, I have designated an Official Discussion Thread which can be found at this link.
Crawdaddy
 

Mark Pfeiffer

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A couple points before I get to my opinions on the film...

Matt said:
Miramax should not be allowed to distribute these movies. They don't do them justice.
That is usually the case, especially with foreign films, but it doesn't apply to Amelie. They have been pushing this one pretty hard and moved up release dates in many cities. It's release may be low key now, but I expect to see it get on some more screens around Christmas.

As for the ratings issue, I don't think it should come as any surprise that this is rated R. We see enough bare female breasts that automatically place it under that rating. (Whether you agree or not with this criteria is irrelevant. This has been established plenty through the years. I find it silly that something like this and Waking Life are rated R when I've seen more vulgar and detrimental PG-13 films.) The porn shop accessories probably didn't hurt in getting the stronger rating.

Now to the film. I've seen it twice, and along with my other favorites (Mulholland Drive, Waking Life, Moulin Rouge), I could go see it again right now. It's such a pleasant change of pace and a real delight. The second time around I was surprised to discover how everything is established and connected from the beginning.

Audrey Tautou's performance is remarkable in that owes more to silent films than sound films. Most of her performance is communicated through facial expressions and body language than line delivery. (I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't have the most in the film.) The comparisons to Audrey Hepburn are apt. I know I certainly wouldn't mind her following that career arc.

Amelie is still relatively a secret to the mainstream audience, but I expect a strong Oscar push should make this a decent success outside the arthouse.
 

DaveF

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Exactly 15 hours 32 minutes and 25 seconds ago, David Fischer entered the local art theater to see "Amelie"
His dislikes:
- Parking in the city
- Experiencing stop lights every 30 feet
His likes:
- Seeing a Friday evening movie for only $6.50
- Seeing a wonderfully funny, clever, and creative movie!
If I may be so bold, "Amelie" is "Ally McBeal" meets French cinema. "Amelie" is the life story of the quirky Amelie, who is neurotically searching for love in a messed up world. Her inner thoughts are revealed by occaisional graphics, odd camera shots, asides, and talking lamps. The story is as off-kilter as Amelie; it lopes from scene to scene, always surprising, almost random but hewing to its own odd internal logic, and never feeling contrived.
From start to finish, "Amelie" is sprinkled with cute, funny, and guffaw-inducing scenes. And the humor is never banal and rarely demeaning. Even the sex-based humor comes from a love of life, or an askew view of relationships. The characters are deeply flawed, but the humor comes by appreciating and laughing with their problems, and not by mocking them (except for one man, who deserves it
).
The filming style, and visual and audio effects all wonderfully reflect Amelie's odd view of the world and her life. Unlike many movies the visual effects are both ingenious and integral to the story. The sound is generally subdued, but always effective. And sometimes it overtly grabs your attention, being both flashy and useful. The filming style also varies. Punctuating the typical camera work, are fast-motion scenes, herky-jerky mosaics, and such.
I left the theater immensely glad I'd seen "Amelie", still laughing about various bits of the movie. It is one of the few good comedies I've seen in the past several years, and is one of my favorite films this year.
Highly recommended
 

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