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Overall Rating
4.56

Awesome78.7%
Worth A Look: 10.87%
Average: 3.48%
Pretty Bad: 1.74%
Total Crap: 5.22%

8 reviews, 182 user ratings


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Amelie
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Best movie of the millennium--so far"
5 stars

Recently I saw “Amelie,” this year’s foreign film sensation, from France. Returning home, I switched on my computer and wrote—nothing. Nada. Total blank. So I decided to seek supernatural aid. Constructing a makeshift bonfire with my unwatched came-with-the-DVD-player copy of “Stepmom” and several consecutive years’ worth of Leonard Maltin Film Guides, I called upon the chthonic powers to bring forth an able critic from the Other Side to help compose my review.

Lo, the gates of Hell promptly opened, and from the fiery portal came—Pauline Kael? Gene Siskel? Nope—David Manning, the ersatz critic who, you will recall, was responsible for made-up film quotes for movies like A Knight's Tale. But, hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

It went something like this:

MANNING: Uh, look, I’m not supposed to be here. The boss is screening Monsieur Verdoux, and attendance is mandatory.

ME: Mr. Manning, I have called you here for a very important matter. I’ve just seen Amelie, the movie from France, and—

MANNING: Got it. “The thrill ride of the summer movie season.”

ME: That’s not going to do it. This is really a special movie, I think, and it deserves thoughtful analysis. You see [flips through notes], it’s the latest movie from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who did Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children, and—ahem—Alien: Resurrection.

MANNING: Alien: Resurrection! I loooovvvved—

ME: It has to do with his lonely French girl named Amelie, who has an epiphany one day when she finds this old tin box hidden away in a secret panel near the floor of her bathroom—

MANNING: This is the Alien: Resurrection guy?

ME: --and suddenly, she wants to find the owner of the box, whoever it may be, and make his life complete by giving back to him this childhood memento. This leads to another epiphany: She wants to improve the lives of all these hapless souls she keeps meeting. But wait, that doesn’t really capture it. It’s not a plot-driven movie.

MANNING: Wait, you saw the movie?

ME: It’s basically this extremely weird, brain-screwing Gallic fairy tale, replete with magic realist moments—you know, inanimate objects suddenly coming to life and so forth. The first twenty minutes or so are brilliant. You’ve got this heavy-breathing French narrator relating the life of Amelie from birth to the present day, and it’s just pure genius—one inspired moment after another.

MANNING: “Amelie had me at ‘hello’!”

ME: And it has this incredibly frenetic, colorful visual style—imagine Jacques Demy doing Fight Club. Camera zooming in, tilting up, fast cutting, all these goofy FX shots. And these primary-color sets…

MANNING: So it has words on the bottom of the screen?

ME: Well, yeah. But what I really have to capture in my review is the pure comic energy of the movie. Kind of like Run, Lola, Run, which apparently even the French dug. There’s more gags than a Zucker brothers movie. I mean, one of my favorite bits is when Amelie is standing on this rooftop overlooking the city--

MANNING: Rooftops. Very Hitchcockian.

ME: --and the heavy-breathing French narrator says something like, “Now Amelie wonders how many couples are achieving orgasm at this moment.” You get this quick montage of people screwing, and Amelie turns to the camera and goes: “Fifteen.”

MANNING: So Amelie’s a hottie?

ME: Well, sure… oh, thanks for reminding me: The actress playing Amelie is a relative newcomer named Audrey Tautou. She’s wonderful, a French version of Bjork. She’s so alive on the screen that she nearly compromises the whole premise of the film—I mean, it’s hard to see her as a shy loner who can’t get a date. Of course, perhaps I should confess my weakness for wide-eyed ingénues. These things tend to interfere with one’s objectivity.

MANNING: Oh, I totally agree. I think...

ME: What I have to decide in my review is whether Jeunet maintains control of his comic fantasia. To be honest, there’s so much happening that I can’t tell if he tied all the plot threads. But if he doesn’t, I think it’s okay, anyhow. This isn’t a Hollywood picture. Europeans shouldn’t be required to worship Syd Field.

MANNING: Syd…?

ME: And, finally, it made me feel warm and tingly all over.

MANNING: Well…

ME: Can you help?

MANNING: “The biggest action extravaganza since Pearl Harbor!”

David Manning was returned to Hell, where bad Chaplin plays for all eternity.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5594&reviewer=223
originally posted: 11/03/01 22:29:29
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User Comments

5/22/15 David Hollingsworth Charming, Whisical, and Enchanting 5 stars
6/02/13 lero Classic-and I can't stand romantic comedies 5 stars
11/08/12 deano worth a watch but very overrated, certainly not a masterpiece 3 stars
10/20/12 Roberto Favorite movie hands down!!! Love the music too; ) 5 stars
12/19/09 Derek Annoying, cutesy Pap. Jeunet is pure evil. 1 stars
10/09/09 craig red n green,life affirming beauty 5 stars
7/26/09 Sugarfoot It's a decent movie...but it's not the classic it's been advertised as... 3 stars
5/20/09 kelseey it was confusing, but somhow, i loved it. 5 stars
12/29/08 CTT Infectious, lovely film; very fun 5 stars
6/11/08 HIII *waves* really good. 5 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT ITS NOT EVERYDAY THAT YOU SEE A FILM SO ENAMORED WITH ITS OWN QUIRKINESS 1 stars
5/07/08 Jackson to that bastard up a bit YOU ARSEHOLE! THIS IS THE BEST FILM EVER 5 stars
2/25/08 SamanthaP such a great and fantastical movie, and very creative, never seen anything like it. 5 stars
12/09/07 SamanthaP it really is magically delicious! 5 stars
7/11/07 Hello Stranger oh i love this. so creative. the music too 5 stars
5/23/07 anonymous doing a movie review for it, the positivity of it all overwhelms me .... 5 stars
4/13/07 Anikka Artsy, different and simply wonderful 5 stars
2/22/07 Sharee My favorite film of all time! 5 stars
9/14/06 Patrick Petty this is one of my faves of all time, great movie!! 5 stars
4/12/06 anthonyuk quirky and fun, a film for dreamers 4 stars
3/12/06 kayla i'm a dreamer. this movie was made for me! 5 stars
2/04/06 ronald self indulgent and overrated.Nice cinematography though 1 stars
1/15/06 ruben fabrigas its about search for genuine love 5 stars
12/11/05 COLLEEN Best Movie Ever!!!!! 5 stars
10/31/05 Indrid Cold A beautiful, vibrant look at life's pleasures, big and small. 5 stars
10/05/05 Jesse Taylor One of the best movies period. An instant masterpiece. 5 stars
8/16/05 ES couldn't make it through, had to abandon shit 1 stars
6/14/05 K. Sear The only heart-warming film that is actually good. 5 stars
6/03/05 Pinkline Jones Pretentious Big Dark Eye Nonsense 3 stars
4/07/05 Thembile I like the movie's sense of re-generating youth 4 stars
3/25/05 Abbi Wonderful film, can watch over and over 5 stars
2/15/05 Reggie Lambert a real work of fart 1 stars
2/14/05 R.W. Welch Off-beat and inventive with outstanding camera work. Sags a bit in the middle. 4 stars
1/01/05 dbx Tries desperately hard to be cute. Nauseating. 1 stars
12/28/04 Karen Leatherland Absolutely fantastic!!!! 5 stars
12/21/04 Abbath Very nostalgic and idealistic look at Paris. Beautiful movie. 5 stars
10/28/04 Daveman More than a little overblown, but it' a very sexy film, with a great lead performance. 4 stars
10/17/04 Debby Hamilton Films' colors are awesome 4 stars
8/30/04 Tam Magical film which re-instilled my faith in humanity (albeit temporarily!) 5 stars
7/22/04 Ted Borrero feel good but with enough depth 4 stars
7/12/04 random* beautiful, whimsical, utterly gloriously enchanting 5 stars
6/11/04 T. Maj Enchanting, dreamlike; a work of art!! 5 stars
5/30/04 sally great heart warming movie 5 stars
4/20/04 Mayu This movie makes me happy! 5 stars
3/26/04 Sarah Wentz Beautifully written and filmed. I love the cinematography! 5 stars
3/19/04 john too weird to be romantic for my taste but hey many people love it! 2 stars
3/17/04 The Talking Elbow If you didn't like this movie, what would you preffer? 'Eraser' with Ahnold? 5 stars
2/24/04 truth a truly great film will always be great and remembered, Amelie has already been forgotten 2 stars
2/24/04 truth flat and uninspired. the film is beautifully shot but wasted the content doesnt deserve it 2 stars
2/13/04 Kai A surprisingly refreshing take on the typical heartwarming tale. An excellent film. 5 stars
1/20/04 Chuckie Atkins Jr. The imagery is great. A beautiful film. 5 stars
11/29/03 john it's cute but a bit erratic 3 stars
11/16/03 Sven Olsen Captivating characters, whimsical humor, love, quirkiness....what more could you want? 5 stars
8/28/03 Nicole Didn't expect to, but I loved it 5 stars
7/23/03 Katya Ms. Tautou is one of the most amazingly charizmatic characters I've had a pleasure to see!! 5 stars
7/22/03 scooby fucking marvelous! 5 stars
7/21/03 Shawn this movie blows more than monica lewinsky 1 stars
7/18/03 Animator dude Awesome 5 stars
6/24/03 candy Magical, Creative, & Quirky-PrepareToBeTransported 5 stars
6/08/03 earl hoffert beautiful 5 stars
5/13/03 scottyrobotty beautiful plot & imagery. you have to be cold and evil to not be charmed by this 5 stars
4/20/03 Dillon Magnificent! I could watch it over and over and over... 5 stars
3/29/03 pinkline jones Arty Farty Overrated Pseudo-emotional drivel 1 stars
3/13/03 Aramazd Ghalamkaryan One of the best ones I've ever seen. Somehow sismilar to Forrest Gump, but much more beauti 5 stars
2/07/03 natasha_theobald as wonderful and unexpected as you have heard 5 stars
1/16/03 John Bale French feel good flick, which will make you smile for days. A must ! 5 stars
1/06/03 Vince yeah, it's good. 5 stars
12/30/02 Tam Sublime and magical, with strong performances. Kassovitz is SEXY! 5 stars
12/26/02 sarah m amazing. 5 stars
12/05/02 Gaiia beautiful it's like watching a fairy tale for grownups 5 stars
11/29/02 Goofy Maxwell French girl is fly! Beautiful like a butterfly, stings like a bee. 5 stars
11/29/02 Phil M. Aficionado Sweet. quirky, funny, and well made with excellent acting and characters. Almost awesome 4 stars
11/21/02 Amelie Richards What do you think?!!??!?! Of COURSE I loved it! 5 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Sweet, Breezy, and Fun! 4 stars
11/05/02 Michael Buehler Wow. Not at all what I expected. 5 stars
10/31/02 FrankG Who would believe that it's French? 5 stars
9/29/02 Peter Sherlock Gorgeous! Light touch, great message. Try "Swing". 5 stars
9/29/02 Flick Chick hello? was everyone else who saw this passing around a big fat doobie? it SUCKED!! 1 stars
8/26/02 Martin Best movie I've ever had to read 4 stars
8/13/02 Butterbean Colorful production,camera tricks and moments, but the main character became annoying. 3 stars
8/13/02 william miller charming, brilliant masterpiece 5 stars
8/10/02 hum charming fairy tale 5 stars
7/27/02 sdjfsdkjf for once an intelligent french flick with no sleeze. Amen. 5 stars
7/27/02 seldom scene tremendous visuals and story 5 stars
7/26/02 Michael S. Browne Really makes you appreciate the beauty of both life and the art of filmmaking 5 stars
7/24/02 The Bomb 69 brilliant, innovative, captivating, bold, funny, did I miss anything??? 5 stars
7/21/02 spyguy2 Very very good film. First movie in weeks I haven't lost interest in before it was over. 5 stars
7/14/02 Emily Joy Howard Best Movie of all time. Period. 5 stars
7/01/02 Connoisseur krap 2 stars
6/25/02 Alchemist Never felt so good after leaving the cinema 5 stars
5/19/02 Mrs McGregor one of the most beautiful movies of all time 5 stars
4/30/02 OlMan2 Great flick! 5 stars
3/20/02 wintermute made me feel emotion without making me think about myself. great. 4 stars
3/19/02 Noth Philippe 5 stars
3/17/02 Teresa Saw twice. A mystery movie with no murder, just a mystery to solve. A love story. 5 stars
3/07/02 Jack Hunter Loved it, great cast of characters, brav o French moviemakers 5 stars
3/06/02 Liz i watched the film without the help of subtitles but it's so visual u don't even need them 5 stars
3/02/02 Benjamin.Lesbian A delightful ripoff of Emma 5 stars
3/02/02 Unagiboy Cette filme est tres mignone. 5 stars
3/01/02 Mr Black live the cliche of seeing life in a different way after seeing this film 5 stars
2/28/02 Chowie beautiful movie about the simple pleasures in life 5 stars
2/26/02 ownerofdajoint languagebarriertranslationproblemscausesomedifficultybutworththeeffortsomewhatoverratedthoh 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver I hope that this film wins an Oscar! 5 stars
2/18/02 Thor-Leo A charming, engaging bonbon. A few shamelessly plagiarized ideas, e.g. the gnome. 5 stars
2/17/02 quitjamminme I'm in love with Audrey Tautou!! 5 stars
2/15/02 JB A basic heart felt story uniquely presented. 5 stars
2/14/02 The Flaming Chancehead I WANTED TO CUT AMELIE'S HEAD OFF AND STICK IT ON MY PENIS. 1 stars
2/13/02 Chris In my dreary life, Amelie made me smile again -- tres bon! 5 stars
2/11/02 Moogie X. Fashbaw That was just the coolest movie 5 stars
2/09/02 millarca manson do your heart a favor...see this movie 5 stars
2/05/02 Pierce Lanson All of the below-well, most!! 5 stars
2/04/02 Annette Even though im only 13, i thought the movie was great! Amelie is funny and sweet. 5 stars
2/02/02 kil this is a funny, magical film, and really shows how a romantic comedy should be done. 5 stars
2/01/02 E-Funk So, so, so good...Some of the American filmmakers should take tips from the French. 5 stars
1/30/02 Jimbo Worth seeing but probably goes a little too long though. 4 stars
1/29/02 Mousse Refreshing, incredibly charming. 5 stars
1/29/02 Terrie Smith What a beautiful piece of filmmaking; leave it to the French. 5 stars
1/25/02 tamara i saw it last weekend...and i still can't get it out of my head...i loved it. 5 stars
1/23/02 MadRabbit a colorful, french pastry pathetically smeared onto a Robin Williams movie; cheap devices 3 stars
1/23/02 jennifer awwwwwwwwww!!!!!! LOVED IT!!! so french, so entirely perfect in every way!!! c'etait genial 5 stars
1/22/02 Tam Heartwarming and magical - one of the best films of 2001! I loved the orgasms part! 5 stars
1/22/02 Jake Magical and uplifting. 5 stars
1/21/02 Soap Lando About to commit suicide ? This movie is for you ! Your view of the world will change 5 stars
1/19/02 Rego Allegro Amazing and magic movie - 2 hours of visual pleasure 5 stars
1/19/02 Angelica AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! and Beautiful!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/19/02 kelly amazing,one of the best movies ever made 5 stars
1/18/02 Lara After seeing it, I couldn't stop smiling for hours 5 stars
1/16/02 Ester Good->Better->Amelie 5 stars
1/14/02 Carly Charming and subtly sexy, one of the best films of the year. 5 stars
1/11/02 Kelly So beautiful I saw it twice..a movie for the romantic in all of us! 5 stars
1/06/02 BEN fabulous movie woudn't be surprised if people went back to see it 2 or 3 times I know I am 5 stars
12/31/01 paul movie of the year... 5 stars
12/29/01 Ashley Fabulous. I'd see it again 5 stars
12/29/01 Owen Best ilm i've seen all year!! 5 stars
12/28/01 ^Elendil^ Wonderfully perceptive in an off-beat sort of way. Enchanting. 5 stars
12/28/01 Vincent Ricci There's no words to say how beautiful this movie is !!! 5 stars
12/27/01 Belinda Forget the HYPE! This is a nothing movie. 1 stars
12/27/01 Izzy audrey tautou's incredible in this film! jean pierre jeunet is great 5 stars
12/26/01 Paco One of the best movies of the year 5 stars
12/26/01 frank one of the greatest film ever made 5 stars
12/26/01 rob a an instant, all-time favorite! brilliant, quick, adorable. 5 stars
12/26/01 Patrick MORNE I am so glad it works out in America! 5 stars
12/25/01 Ricardo Brilliant, filled with witty humor. 5 stars
12/24/01 Shana This was a brilliant, funny, sweet movie 5 stars
12/21/01 Exito Brilliant. 5 stars
12/20/01 BobbyBoo Not only does this movie have a great story it's got some great humour too. Loved it. 5 stars
12/20/01 vulpecula i went to see this movie twice - i loved it even more after the second time. 5 stars
12/18/01 grunter "Out-Meg Ryans" Meg Ryans. Take that you bottle-blonde has-been. 5 stars
12/17/01 Pope ZenMasterFlash I haven't enjoyed a movie so much in a long time! 5 stars
12/17/01 D. Smith fantastik 5 stars
12/15/01 Mr. Henry belle. . . no jolie, jolie, jolie. Tres belle, pas question! 5 stars
12/14/01 Jon Faul Lovely little movie. It was a treat to watch and Amelie herself was perfectly playful 5 stars
12/13/01 Dominik Duprelle A Charming movie. It's creates a fantasy world full of visual gags and ideas. Enjoy it 4 stars
12/12/01 claire That movie cannot be explained, it can only be felt 5 stars
12/11/01 Van Cute 5 stars
12/11/01 viking a movie with heart 5 stars
12/11/01 David The best love chasse-croise ever filmed! 5 stars
12/11/01 sulky Stole my heart completely - Loved the travelling gnome! 5 stars
12/11/01 Anne de Haas The absolute best movie I've seen in years and years. 5 stars
12/09/01 Roxsy truly beautiful cinematography - interesting comment on photography 5 stars
12/08/01 Victoria Davis My new favorite movie 5 stars
12/06/01 matty g. This movie captures a sweetness, and has you leaving the theater feeling whimsical. 5 stars
12/05/01 Robert Wow. A truly amazing film. If you don't like it you have no soul. 5 stars
12/05/01 Raphaela Monribot 1 stars
12/03/01 Colleen Amazing 5 stars
12/02/01 RocketBoy AMAZING! Incredible cinematography, too. 5 stars
12/02/01 Brandon Flynn My rating says it all... 5 stars
12/02/01 Suzz Interminable: brought to you by the folk who think Jerry Lewis epitomizes comedy. 3 stars
12/02/01 zeitgeist beautiful cinematography 5 stars
12/02/01 posono billis surprisingly even a notch above delicatessen 5 stars
12/01/01 Freddy Totally Enjoyable - Left With A Smile On My Face, Love That Audrey Tautou !! 5 stars
11/30/01 anne This is such a great movie! I really loved it! 5 stars
11/30/01 *NiCkLeS* Uplifting...it's warm and fuzzy with a deeper layer...like Baptist church choir singing... 5 stars
11/29/01 bilbo-le-hobbit Six month later, still as magical... 5 stars
11/29/01 geesh Best film I've seen in years. Funny and lighthearted without being inane. 5 stars
11/28/01 Michaël Feel bad ? Go and watch this movie. You'll get out with a big smile on your face ! 5 stars
11/26/01 jed stunningly beatiful 5 stars
11/22/01 Monster W. Kung Enjoyable, but totally overrated. Not much more than light-hearted fun, really. 3 stars
11/21/01 WMunny IMPRESIONANTE 5 stars
11/03/01 Lucy Swan It really is everything you've been led to believe-long live Jeunet! 5 stars
11/01/01 Alison Brilliant, charming, beautiful, lovingly crafted. A fine piece of cinema 5 stars
10/29/01 Heather This is one of the best movies I have seen this year. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Nov-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  26-Dec-2001




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