Amelie
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Amelie

Amélie
Amelie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJean-Pierre Jeunet
Produced by
  • Jean-Marc Deschamps
  • Claudie Ossard
Screenplay byGuillaume Laurant
Story by
  • Guillaume Laurant
  • Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring
Music byYann Tiersen
CinematographyBruno Delbonnel
Edited byHervé Schneid
Production
companies
Distributed by
Release date
  • 25 April 2001 (2001-04-25) (France)
  • 16 August 2001 (2001-08-16) (Germany)
Running time
123 minutes[1]
Country
LanguageFrench
Budget$10 million[4]
Box office$174.2 million[4]

Amélie (also known as Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain; French pronunciation: ​[l? fabylø dest d?ameli pul]; English: The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain) is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Written by Jeunet with Guillaume Laurant, the film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre. It tells the story of a shy waitress, played by Audrey Tautou, who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better while struggling with her own isolation. The film also features an ensemble cast of supporting roles, including Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Claire Maurier, Clotilde Mollet, Isabelle Nanty, Dominique Pinon, Artus de Penguern, Yolande Moreau, Urbain Cancelier, and Maurice Bénichou.

The film was theatrically released in France on 25 April 2001 by UGC-Fox Distribution and in Germany on 16 August 2001 by Prokino Filmverleih. The film received critical acclaim, with praise for Tautou's performance, the cinematography, production design, and writing. Amélie won Best Film at the European Film Awards; it also won four César Awards, including Best Film and Best Director). It won two British Academy Film Awards, including Best Original Screenplay, and was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Screenplay. The film was a commercial success, grossing $174.2 million worldwide against a budget of $10 million. Taking in over $33 million in a limited theatrical release, it is to date the highest-grossing French-language film released in the United States, and one of the biggest international successes for a French film.

Plot

Amélie works at the Café des 2 Moulins in Montmartre.

Amélie Poulain is born in June 1974 and brought up by eccentric parents who - incorrectly believing that she has a heart defect - decide to home-school her. To cope with her loneliness, Amélie develops an active imagination and a mischievous personality. When Amélie is six, her mother, Amandine, is killed when a suicidal Canadian tourist jumps from the roof of Notre-Dame de Paris and lands on her. As a result, her father Raphaël withdraws more and more from society. Amélie leaves home at the age of 18 and becomes a waitress at the Café des 2 Moulins in Montmartre, which is staffed and frequented by a collection of eccentrics. She is single and lets her imagination roam freely, finding contentment in simple pleasures like dipping her hand into grain sacks and cracking crème brûlée with a spoon.

On 31 August 1997, startled by the news of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, Amélie drops a plastic perfume-stopper, which dislodges a wall tile and accidentally reveals an old metal box of childhood memorabilia hidden by a boy who lived in her apartment decades earlier. Amélie resolves to track down the boy and return the box to him. She promises herself that if it makes him happy, she will devote her life to bringing happiness to others.

After asking the apartment's concierge and several old tenants about the boy's identity, Amélie meets her reclusive neighbour, Raymond Dufayel, an artist with brittle bone disease who repaints Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party every year. He recalls the boy's name as "Bretodeau". Amélie quickly finds the man, Dominique Bretodeau, and surreptitiously gives him the box. Moved to tears by the discovery and the memories it holds, Bretodeau resolves to reconcile with his estranged daughter and the grandson he has never met. Amélie happily embarks on her new mission.

Amélie secretly executes complex schemes that affect the lives of those around her. She escorts a blind man to the Métro station, giving him a rich description of the street scenes he passes. She persuades her father to follow his dream of touring the world by stealing his garden gnome and having a flight attendant friend airmail pictures of it posing with landmarks from all over the world. She starts a romance between her hypochondriacal co-worker Georgette and Joseph, one of the customers in the bar. She convinces Madeleine Wallace, the concierge of her block of flats, that the husband who abandoned her had sent her a final conciliatory love letter just before his accidental death years before. She gaslights Collignon, the nasty greengrocer. Mentally exhausted, Collignon no longer abuses his meek but good-natured assistant Lucien. A delighted Lucien takes charge at the grocery stand.

Mr. Dufayel, having observed Amélie, begins a conversation with her about his painting. Although he has copied the same painting 20 times, he has never quite captured the look of the girl drinking a glass of water. They discuss the meaning of this character, and over several conversations, Amélie begins projecting her loneliness onto the image. Dufayel recognizes this and uses the girl in the painting to push Amélie to examine her attraction to a quirky young man, Nino Quincampoix, who collects the discarded photographs of strangers from passport photo booths. When Amélie bumps into Nino a second time, she realizes she is falling in love with him. He accidentally drops a photo album in the street. Amélie retrieves it.

Amélie plays a cat-and-mouse game with Nino around Paris before returning his treasured album anonymously. After arranging a meeting at the 2 Moulins, Amélie panics and tries to deny her identity. Her co-worker, Gina, concerned for Amélie's well-being, screens Nino for her; Joseph's comment about this misleads Amélie to believe she has lost Nino to Gina. It takes Dufayel's insight to give her the courage to pursue Nino, resulting in a romantic night together and the beginning of a relationship. Amélie finally finds happiness for herself.

Cast

Production

Au Marché de la Butte, Rue des Trois Frères, Paris, used as the location of Monsieur Collignon's shop

In his DVD commentary, Jeunet explains that he originally wrote the role of Amélie for the English actress Emily Watson. In that first draft, Amélie's father was an Englishman living in London. However, Watson's French was not strong, and when she became unavailable to shoot the film, owing to a conflict with the filming of Gosford Park, Jeunet rewrote the screenplay for a French actress. Audrey Tautou was the first actress he auditioned having seen her on the poster for the 1999 film Venus Beauty Institute.

The movie was filmed mainly in Paris. The Café des 2 Moulins (15 Rue Lepic, Montmartre, Paris) where Amélie works is a real place.[5]

The filmmakers made use of computer-generated imagery (including computer animation),[6][7] and a digital intermediate.[8] The studio scenes were filmed in the Coloneum Studio in Cologne (Germany). The film shares many of the themes in its plot with the second half of the 1994 film Chungking Express.[9][10]

Release

The film was released in France, Belgium, and French-speaking western Switzerland in April 2001, with subsequent screenings at various film festivals followed by releases around the world. It received limited releases in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australasia later in 2001.

Cannes Film Festival selector Gilles Jacob described Amélie as "uninteresting", and therefore it was not screened at the festival, although the version he viewed was an early cut without music. The absence of Amélie at the festival caused something of a controversy because of the warm welcome by the French media and audience in contrast with the reaction of the selector.[11] David Martin-Jones, in an article in Senses of Cinema, stated that the film "[wears] its national [French] identity on its sleeve" and that this attracted both audiences of mainstream movies and those of arthouse ones.[12]

Reception

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 89% approval rating based on 184 reviews, with an average rating of 8.09/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The feel-good Amélie is a lively, fanciful charmer, showcasing Audrey Tautou as its delightful heroine."[13] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 69 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14]

Alan Morrison from Empire Online gave Amélie five stars and called it "one of the year's best, with crossover potential along the lines of Cyrano De Bergerac and Il Postino. Given its quirky heart, it might well surpass them all".[15] Paul Tatara of CNN praised Amélies playful nature. In his review, he wrote, "Its whimsical, free-ranging nature is often enchanting; the first hour, in particular, is brimming with amiable, sardonic laughs".[16]

The film was attacked by critic Serge Kaganski of Les Inrockuptibles for an unrealistic and picturesque vision of a bygone French society with few ethnic minorities.[17] Jeunet dismissed the criticism by pointing out that the photo collection contains pictures of people from numerous ethnic backgrounds, and that Jamel Debbouze, who plays Lucien, is of Moroccan descent.

Awards and nominations

Award Category Recipient Result
Academy Awards[18] Best Foreign Language Film Jean-Pierre Jeunet Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Guillaume Laurant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet Nominated
Best Cinematography Bruno Delbonnel Nominated
Best Art Direction Aline Bonetto and Marie-Laure Valla Nominated
Best Sound Vincent Arnardi, Guillaume Leriche, Jean Umansky Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Best Film Amélie Nominated
Best Direction Jean-Pierre Jeunet Nominated
Best Actress in a Leading Role Audrey Tautou Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Guillaume Laurant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet Won
Best Cinematography Bruno Delbonnel Nominated
Best Production Design Aline Bonetto Won
Best Editing Hervé Schneid Nominated
Best Film Music Yann Tiersen Nominated
Best Film Not in the English Language Amélie Nominated
César Awards Best Film Amélie Won
Best Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet Won
Best Actress Audrey Tautou Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jamel Debbouze Nominated
Rufus Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Isabelle Nanty Nominated
Best Writing Guillaume Laurant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet Nominated
Best Cinematography Bruno Delbonnel Nominated
Best Production Design Aline Bonetto Won
Best Costume Design Madeline Fontaine Won
Best Editing Hervé Schneid Nominated
Best Music Yann Tiersen Won
European Film Awards Best Film Jean-Pierre Jeunet Won
Best Director Won
Best Actress Audrey Tautou Nominated
Best Cinematography Bruno Delbonnel Won
French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Best French Film Amélie Won
Golden Eagle Award[19] Best Foreign Language Film Amélie Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Foreign Language Film Jean-Pierre Jeunet Nominated
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Crystal Globe Won
Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award Won

The film was selected by The New York Times as one of "The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made".[20] The film placed No. 2 in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema".[21]Paste magazine ranked it second on its list of the 50 Best Movies of the Decade (2000-2009).[22] In August 2016, BBC Magazine conducted a poll on the 21st century's 100 greatest films so far, with Amélie ranking at number 87.[23]

Entertainment Weekly named the film poster one of the best on its list of the top 25 film posters in the past 25 years.[24] It also named Amélie setting up a wild goose chase for her beloved Nino all through Paris as No. 9 on its list of top 25 Romantic Gestures.[25] In 2010, an online public poll by the American Cinematographer - the house journal of the American Society of Cinematographers - named Amélie the best shot film of the decade.[26]

Amelie is rated 37 among the 50 Greatest Romantic Comedies of All Time by RollingStone Magazine[27]

Soundtrack

The soundtrack to Amélie was composed by Yann Tiersen.[28]

Musical adaptation

On 23 August 2013, composer Dan Messe, one of the founders and members of the band Hem, confirmed speculation that he would be writing the score for a musical adaptation of Amélie, collaborating with Craig Lucas and Nathan Tysen.[29][30] Messe also confirmed he would be composing all original music for the show and not using the Yann Tiersen score.[31] The musical adaptation premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in August 2015.[32] It opened on Broadway in March 2017 and closed in May 2017.[33] The production started its pre-Broadway engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in December 2016, with Phillipa Soo in the title role.[34]

Jeunet distanced himself from the musical, saying he only sold the rights to raise funds for children's charity "Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque".[35]

Home media

The film has no overall worldwide distributor, but Blu-ray Discs have been released in Canada and Australia. The first release occurred in Canada in September 2008 by TVA Films. This version did not contain any English subtitles and received criticisms regarding picture quality.[36] In November 2009, an Australian release occurred. This time the version contained English subtitles and features no region coding.[37] Momentum Pictures released a Blu-ray in the UK on 17 October 2011. The film is also available in HD on iTunes and other digital download services.

Legacy

For the 2007 television show Pushing Daisies, a "quirky fairy tale", American Broadcasting Company (ABC) sought an Amélie feel, with the same chords of "whimsy and spirit and magic". Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller said Amélie is his favorite film. "All the things I love are represented in that movie", he said. "It's a movie that will make me cry based on kindness as opposed to sadness". The New York Times review of Pushing Daisies reported "the Amélie influence on Pushing Daisies is everywhere".[38]

A species of frog was named Cochranella amelie. The scientist who named it said: "[T]his new species of glass frog is for Amélie, protagonist of the extraordinary movie Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain; a film where little details play an important role in the achievement of joie de vivre; like the important role that glass frogs and all amphibians and reptiles play in the health of our planet".[39] The species was described in the scientific journal Zootaxa in an article entitled "An enigmatic new species of Glassfrog (Amphibia: Anura: Centrolenidae) from the Amazonian Andean slopes of Ecuador".[39]

See also

References

  1. ^ "AMELIE FROM MONTMARTRE (LE FABULEUX DESTIN D'AMELIE POULAIN) (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 17 July 2001. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ "Amélie (2001) | BFI". BFI. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ "LUMIERE : Film #17146 : Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain". Lumiere. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Amélie (2001)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2011.
  5. ^ "Amélie: filming locations". Movieloci.com. 23 July 2012.
  6. ^ Arnold, William (8 November 2001). "Inspired 'Amélie' blends solid comedy with cutting-edge special effects". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ Bond, Zoe (29 September 2011). "Looking back at Jean Pierre-Jeunet's Amelie". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "Color schemes: Lensers view new post-prod'n process as an integral tool in their paint box". Variety. 6 January 2005. Archived from the original on 6 January 2006. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "Amelie Movie Review by Anthony Leong from". MediaCircus.net. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ Dickerson, Jeff (10 April 2002). "Audrey Tautou and French film `Amelie' are pure movie magic". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ Tobias, Scott. "Jean-Pierre Jeunet". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2010.
  12. ^ Martin-Jones, David (1 March 2011). "Review: 'Colombiana: Europa Corp and the Ambiguous Geopolitics of the Action Movie'". Senses of Cinema.
  13. ^ "Amélie (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ "Amélie Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Empire's Amelie Movie Review". Empire. Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ "Review: 'Amelie' is imaginative". CNN. 7 November 2001.
  17. ^ "The Amélie Effect". Filmlinc.com. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  18. ^ "The 74th Academy Awards (2002) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2011.
  19. ^ ? ? 2002 [Golden Eagle 2002]. Ruskino.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ "The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made". The New York Times. 29 April 2003. Retrieved 2010.
  21. ^ Green, Willow (11 June 2010). "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema". Empire (film magazine). Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ "The 50 Best Movies of the Decade (2000-2009)". Paste Magazine. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 2011.
  23. ^ "BBC Culture - The 21st Century's 100 greatest films". BBC Magazine. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  24. ^ "Movies: 25 New Classic Posters". Entertainment Weekly. 27 June 2008. Retrieved 2010.
  25. ^ "New Classics: Romantic Gestures". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ "Was Amélie Really the Best-Shot Film of the Last Decade?". movieline.com. 29 June 2010. Archived from the original on 1 July 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  27. ^ "50 Greatest Romantic Comedies of All Time". Rolling Stone. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  28. ^ "JEUNET, JEAN-PIERRE: FABULOUS DESTINY OF AMÉLIE". Urban Cinefile. 13 December 2001. Retrieved 2009.
  29. ^ "Amelie musical to be made for Broadway". BBC. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  30. ^ Derschowitz, Jessica (23 August 2013). ""Amelie" becoming a Broadway musical". CBS News. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  31. ^ "'Amelie' Set to be Adapted for Broadway". Broadway Tour. 26 August 2013.
  32. ^ Hurwitt, Robert (14 September 2015). "Fanciful Film Floats Dreamily Onto the Stage with "Amélie"". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2016.
  33. ^ Viagas, Robert (17 June 2016). "Hamilton's Phillipa Soo Will Star in Amélie Musical on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved 2016.
  34. ^ "Amélie, A New Musical". Center Theatre Group. Retrieved 2016.
  35. ^ Richford, Rhonda (28 August 2013). "'Amelie' Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet 'Disgusted' by Musical". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014.
  36. ^ "Amelie Blu-ray (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain) (2001)". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 2010.
  37. ^ "Amelie Blu-ray (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain) (2001)". Blu-ray.com. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  38. ^ Carter, Bill (5 July 2007). "A Touching Romance, if They Just Don't Touch". The New York Times.
  39. ^ a b Cisneros-Heredia, Diego F.; Meza-Ramos, Paúl (2007). "An enigmatic new species of Glassfrog (Amphibia: Anura: Centrolenidae) from the Amazonian Andean slopes of Ecuador" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1485 (1): 33-41. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.1485.1.3.

External links


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Amelie
 



 



 
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