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Amelie Poulain


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I love the quirkiness of this film, the odd filming, and there are many many absolutely delightful moments in it. Him stealing her heart, the photo machine repair man, the travelling gnome, too many to list, really.

But when it finishes I don't feel that I've spent a happy 90 minutes. Au contraire, I feel that emotionally it's really quite disturbing. Her awful childhood, everybody living in such direly dull surroundings, so many sad losers! I didn't even like them all spying on each other!

It's like the Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B. The most beautiful thing I've ever read, but it pierced my heart with a little arrow of sadness that's still lodged there.

How do you feel about the AP film?

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I know what you mean. The parent's are so uncaring really. Luckily, most of the parents I know are very caring, but I do believe that there are many people who have children because they feel that it is the thing to do. Then they put the children with childminders and play little part in bringing the children up. I do feel that if you have children, you should be prepared to spend quality time with them. On the other hand, this was a film and a little exaggerated. Being French, you have to add the bizarreness.

Jill (99)
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Have to confess I like everything about this film, even (perhaps especially) its darker side.

I admire how the writer has captured so many human details, the minutia of daily life and mundane observations. In the introduction isn't it Amelie's mother who is described as not liking her hands when they shrivel up in the bath? I'm the same, that gives me the heeby jeebies. And the waitress who enjoys cracking her joints (or other people's), I'm sure there are a lot of people who might secretly admit to getting pleasure out of that.

Yes, the jet setting gnome is a stroke of genius, as is the twist when we finally meet the man in the photo and it's the repairman. I also like the scene where Amelie's amour is at work chatting away to his colleague whilst nonchalantly pricing a box of vibrators. It's just a job for him.

I think the film is an honest, unromanticised look at someone's life albeit it fictional, and for me the great irony is that it's set in Paris, a city that so many people regard as the romantic ideal. But it's refreshing to see the city represented as an ordinary place full of ordinary people. I'm tempted to go so far as to say the film represents real life. There are many people out there who've had disturbed childhoods. There are many more leading dull humdrum lives waitressing or worse who perhaps need to dream a little bit more than the rest of us to get through their daily grind. But at least Amelie manages to retain her sense of humour and, of course, this being cinema she gets her man in the end. Oh, and the photography's very interesting too.


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LAST EDITED ON 02-Feb-04 AT 10:18 AM (GMT)

>I love the quirkiness of this
>film, the odd filming, and
>there are many many absolutely
>delightful moments in it.
>Him stealing her heart, the
>photo machine repair man, the
>travelling gnome, too many to
>list, really.
>But when it finishes I don't
>feel that I've spent a
>happy 90 minutes. Au
>contraire, I feel that emotionally
>it's really quite disturbing.
>Her awful childhood, everybody living
>in such direly dull surroundings,
>so many sad losers!
>I didn't even like them
>all spying on each other!
>It's like the Beastly Beatitudes of
>Balthazar B. The most
>beautiful thing I've ever read,
>but it pierced my heart
>with a little arrow of
>sadness that's still lodged there.
>How do you feel about the
>AP film?

Watched this film when it first came out. Liked it. Thought the visual images interesting and the observations of human failings well observed. Loved her hair; the exaggerated style mirrored the quirkiness of the film itself.

Watched it again on video with daughter. She liked it.

Watched it again here in France in its original version. Not speaking the language allowed me to concentrate on the imagery alone. My first thoughts about the film were reinforced. Jeunet
is a director with a very recognisable style. He is using imagery possibly borrowed from conceptual art. The fragments of photographs are a pointer to this particular art form. In fact the whole film is made up of fragments, which he skilfully fits together to make a storyline that is ready available to a mass audience. He understands the language of imagery and metaphor and uses them to great effect.

I don't know his background but I wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't worked in advertising at sometime.

Surely this is a film which can be enjoyed at many different levels. Whether it remains in people's minds as a great film only time will tell. Frankly I've taken from it what I want and now await a new Jeunet film that moves on from Amelie into something perhaps a little deeper and less reliant on pastiche.
And, dare I add, a little less deliberately French.


PS. What are the films he's directed since Amelie? I know he directed one of the Alien films, but that was sometime ago, wasn't it?

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