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Young Amélie (Audrey Tautou) works in a Paris café, lives alone - and helps people, surreptitiously. For example, she secretly returns childhood treasures to a middle aged man; she frees a girlfriend from a troublesome lover and steers him into passion with another. When Nino (Matthieu Kassovitz) comes into her life, things change as they try to find each other.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Compelling and unique from the very first frame, Amélie is cinematic gold.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a game and irreverent filmmaker, but he has a heart of romantic gold. He loves people, and if any of his characters get out of hand, there is retribution at hand. Always funny retribution. But Amélie is not about that at all. That's just one of the many side trips and sub-stories, incidentals and asides, in what is a film full of them. There is more business in the film than actual story, and you can search most of it for meaning in vain. Some of the recurring elements you may wish to interpret as metaphors for something include photographs, dreams and cats. Of course, apart from all that, it is as ever, a search for self and love. It is also more inventive and energetic than a dozen conveyor belt teen comedies from Hollywood studios aching for a buck.

As for the DVD, it is a perfect match for film's heart. For example, if you ever are in need of cheering up or a bit of a lift, just switch on the extra called Audrey Tatou's Funny Faces. It's really just a compilation of outtakes, but concentrating on Audrey's funny faces….as it says.

Then there's the fabulous destiny of Audrey Tatou who is to become Amélie, and we see at the start of the Making of doco, how the actress with long hair is transformed (metamorphosed, says the screen card) into Amelie with short hair. And like much of the DVD extra content, this is accompanied by that piano accordionist who plays like an angel.

You may want to see how the sex scenes were auditioned…and you'll certainly want to have a laught at the funny faces in Autoportraits (which have nothing to do with the film, except in spirit). The extras aren't long, but they remind us of the mood and heart of Amélie.

Every lover of good movies will want this DVD - terrific film and great entertainment, but it's also useful as medication. It'll make you feel good.

Published July 11, 2002

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CAST: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz

DIRECTOR: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

RUNNING TIME: approx 120 minutes (feature only)

SPECIAL FEATURES: Making documentary; Audrey Tatou's Funny Faces; story board; screen tests; trailer


DVD RELEASE: July 10, 2002 (rental); November 13, 2002 (retail)

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