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Film Review: Amelie

A load of pretentious French art or a bit of continental class..."

Amelie is a simple story about a girl who discovers meaning in her life by helping people she comes across. Like many guardian angels before her she, while concentrating on helping others, neglects her own life. The film plots her adventure helping others while along the way finding love herself.

AmelieAmeile (Audrey Tautou) is a wonderfully quirky girl who carries the film from beginning to end. In a perfectly understated performance, the leading French actor/director Matthieu Kossovitz (who was exceptional in 1996's Self-Made Hero) refreshingly plays support as Nino, the love interest.

The film picks up on themes of chance, the passing of time and, yip, the meaning of life, as also recently explored by films such as Magnolia. However what really makes this film exceptional is the visual beauty employed by director Jean Pierre Jeunet. He uses a huge range of camera tricks and special effects to create a dream-like world that is firmly placed in present day Paris.

Half way through the film a worldly-wise girl working in a sex shop says "life is hard for dreamers these days". This may be true, but what Ameile proves is that there will always be a place in the world for dreamers. Especially in the cinema.

A simply wonderful film.

Kevin Smith

 

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