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Great French Films: Amélie


Amélie is a beautiful and quirky love story with a typically French flavour. Featuring the winsome Audrey Tatou in the title role as a shy young waitress with a vivid imagination, the film follows her adventures set in Montmartre in Paris.

Inspired by finding some old photos hidden in her apartment which she thinks by returning to the owner she will cause joy, Amélie decides to make people happy. Her quest sees her turn matchmaker with the eccentric staff and customers who frequent her café; she carries out complicated, secret schemes which impact the lives of those around her, always trying to hide her involvement. There are a series of stories within the film of forlorn people to whom Amélie brings happiness, all cleverly tied in together. Escorting a blind man to the Metro station, giving him a rich description of the street scenes he passes; convincing the unhappy concierge of her building that the husband who abandoned her had in fact sent her a final reconciliatory love letter just before his accidental death years before. She persuades her aloof father to follow his dream of touring the world by stealing his garden gnome and having a stewardess friend send pictures of it posing with landmarks from all over the world and she champions Lucien, a childlike young man who works for the bullying neighborhood greengrocer.

Unexpectedly, having given up on her own love life following disappointment Amélie falls head over heels in love with a shy, eccentric young man with an obsession for photo booth photographs.

The film was a success both internationally and in France, beautifully filmed, wonderful acting and a great script; there is a grown up fairy tale, magical quality to the film and the witty narration is spot on.

Throughout Amélie there is a fantastic soundtrack by French composer Yann Tiersen. The music is predominantly piano and accordion and fits perfectly with the film’s quirky, black comedic feel.

If you love the film and want to see where Amélie worked – the café featured is Les Deux Moulins , 15 Rue Lepic, Montmartre, Paris.

See our list of brilliant feel good films for a taste of France at home!

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