Amélie from Montmartre
review by Carrie Gorringe, 21 September 2001

26th Toronto International Film Festival

Amélie from Montmartre (a.k.a. Amélie or Le fabuleux destin de l'Amélie Poulin) -- Jean-Pierre Jeunet, director of Delicatessen, moves 180 degrees in direction to create a delightful film about the adventures of a ditzy, but well-meaning, girl (Audrey Toutou) who, having been raised in an overwhelmingly dysfunctional home, is fixated on one goal in life: to save others by performing good deeds for them (Audrey Toutou's portrayal of the eponymous heroine is punctuated by the kind of sparkle that used to be associated with another Audrey --one with the last name of Hepburn). When she finds a box behind her bathroom wall containing forty-year-old toys, she is spurred to find its former owner. After meeting the box's former owner, a quiet man with the ungainly name of Nino Quincampoix (Mathieu Kassovitz, from Café au Lait, La Haďne, etc.), she is forced to confront a long-suppressed dilemma: does she have the courage to face a chance at being happy? More importantly, has she "earned" the right to be happy? The first forty minutes of the film that detail her dreadful upbringing with parents who are emotionally disconnected and rigid are delivered with a maniacal slap-stick detail not unlike the verbal equivalent of undercranking a silent film. Then Amélie takes on a more piquant and tenderly funny demeanor, as this philanthropic gamine must determine what opportunities she will -- or can -- choose for herself. Winner of this year's People's Choice Award, Amélie is a gentle, witty examination of the choices that everyone must eventually make.

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Directed by:
Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Audrey Tautou
Mathieu Kassovitz
Yolande Moreau
Arthus de Penguern

Written by:
Guillaume Laurant
Jean-Pierre Jeunet

R - Restricted
Under 17 requires
parent or adult




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