Amelie

Amelie

4.7 104
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus

     
 

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Audience and critics favorite, the Oscar nominated French film Amelie has been given the deluxe treatment by Miramax. This DVD has just about everything going for it, starting with a picture that is exceptional. The 2.35:1 anamorphic image recreates the intentional color scheme carefully created by director Jean-Pierre Junet. Those colors are vivid and wellSee more details below

Overview

Audience and critics favorite, the Oscar nominated French film Amelie has been given the deluxe treatment by Miramax. This DVD has just about everything going for it, starting with a picture that is exceptional. The 2.35:1 anamorphic image recreates the intentional color scheme carefully created by director Jean-Pierre Junet. Those colors are vivid and well saturated and full of life, a perfect compliment for the film's subject matter. Flesh tones are also right on target. The sound, which is a French 5.1 Dolby Digital track, is centered more up front, but still does use the surround channels limitedly. Dialogue is clear, which is especially important not only for clarity of the language but also because the film employs a narrator for a large portion of the running time. Somewhat unexpected, Miramax has made this a 2-disc special edition with many supplements. Though not listed in the packaging, two commentaries are included on the first disc, though both are from Junet, one in French and the other in English. He has plenty to offer about the making of the film and is quite enthusiastic. The second disc contains the remaining extras, including a 13-minute featurettes on the look of the film, another short featurette called "Home Movies," separate Q&A's with Junet and with the cast and crew and an additional chat with Junet. Rounding things out are a storyboard comparison, cast auditions, outtakes with actress Audrey Tautou, the theatrical trailer and numerous television spots. As can be seen, this disc has enough to please not only the casual fan, but those that have fallen in love with this simple, yet smart, romantic comedy.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tony Nigro
Four years after his Alien: Resurrection met with a cool reaction from U.S. audiences, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's return to French-language filmmaking is an eye-popping potpourri of magic realism. Pouty ingénue Audrey Tautou (Happenstance) is the titular heroine, a daydreaming anti-socialite who takes it upon herself to anonymously help others find happiness, whether through simple matchmaking in a café or having a garden gnome travel vicariously for her aging father (Rufus). The trouble is that no matter how hard she tries, Amélie can't seem to make herself happy, let alone open up to her secret crush, Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz), a hobbyist who reconstructs discarded photo-booth pictures. A modern fairy tale bordering on a live-action cartoon, Jeunet's Oscar-nominated feel-good film is a visual banquet of gags, swooshes, and comic-book design. He eschews the dirty, monochromatic alleys of New Wave Paris for a candy-colored vision of prewar wonder, populated with lonesome eccentrics and forever awash in accordion music. Screenwriter Guillaume Laurant, who also contributed to the fancifully dark City of Lost Children, collaborates with Jeunet on a story that is at once emotionally gratifying and hilariously surreal; inanimate objects come to life, and a reclusive artist repaints the same Renoir every year. Despite all the magical set designs and storytelling, though, the movie is tout Tautou. With saucerlike eyes that could make Betty Boop jealous, her Amélie infuses every scene with both painful shyness and romantic keening. At one point, the movie proclaims the world a harsh place for dreamers. But it also proves a bouncy treat with the potential to change all that.
All Movie Guide
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, previously best-known for his collaborations with Marc Caro in Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children, Amélie exhibits the same brand of wicked humor and off-kilter humanism seen in those earlier films. Its plot revolves around its eponymous heroine (played by Audrey Tautou, channeling equal parts Audrey Hepburn and Olive Oyl), a wistful, lonely dreamer driven by her desire to help others. The product of an unhappy childhood -- mom was squashed by the suicide leap of a tourist from Quebec, dad was emotionally distant -- Amélie also craves love. In particular, she craves the love of Nino (director Mathieu Kassovitz), an equally wistful and completely adorable janitor/porn shop cashier she meets at a train station photo booth. Plot, however, tends to take back seat to style, which Jeunet layers on with the subtlety and glee of a drag queen who has just been given lipstick and a mascara wand. Through his eyes, Paris is less a city than an ongoing festival, resplendent with verdant vegetable stands, eccentric old artists, charming cafés, bubbling canals, endless blue skies, and -- as one sequence hilariously illustrates -- numerous couples who have no trouble attaining simultaneous orgasm. This vision raised the ire of a few French critics, who accused Jeunet of portraying Paris as little more than a close cousin to Euro Disney (where is Montmartre's graffiti? Where is its racial diversity?), peopled solely with the kind of cuddly if curmudgeonly characters found more typically in Tin Tin cartoons and Robert Doiseneau photographs. But such criticism misses the point. In Amélie, as in Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children, Jeunet has made a pure fantasy; its reality is that of a parallel universe, where perverse humor co-exists comfortably with genuine, if somewhat manic compassion. Whether he shows Amélie taking innocent pleasure in cracking the surface of a crème brulée or one of her co-workers engaging in a round of (literally) earth-shaking sex in a café bathroom, Jeunet portrays his characters with both loving self-indulgence and a keen appreciation for the absurd; he's aiming for light-hearted comedy, not kitchen sink realism. It is Jeunet's ability to temper his self-indulgence with absurdity that prevents Amélie from drowning in saccharine sentimentality. It is a "feel good" film, no doubt, but not the sort that people offer apologies for liking. Jeunet's energy, wit, and visual ingenuity are infectious. Even if we know that Montmartre is really strewn with trash and that Paris is often rainy and cold, it is hard not to be seduced by both Jeunet's vision of kind hearts, earthy humor, and fortuitous happenstance. Amélie was nothing less than a cinematic phenomenon in France, where it took in 40 million dollars, won an endorsement from President Jacques Chirac, and brought a new wave of tourists to Paris' Montmartre district, where its story is set.
New York Times - Elvis Mitchell
Amélie has a hypnotic sense of romance; it's a fable filled with longing, with a heroine who constantly flirts with failure. Just because the movie has the reflexes of a predatory animal doesn't mean it lacks a heart.
Washington Post - Desson Howe
There's so much here, and all of it delightful.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
1/2
A delicious pastry of a movie.
Boston Globe - Jay Carr
Delightful and original, the film conjures up a corner of Paris distinct and specific, yet fairy-tale fanciful.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/16/2002
UPC:
0786936180893
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
R
Source:
Miramax
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:02:00

Special Features

Widescreen anamorphic presentation; "Amelie Effect" (English) featurette; "Look of Ameilie" (English) featurette; fantasies of Audrey Tautou (French with English subtitles); Q & A with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (English); Q & A with director and Cast (French with English subtitles); audition clips; storyboard comparison; an intimate chat with Jeunet (French with English subtitles); "Inside the Making of Amelie" (French with English subtitles); "A Quai" music video; behind-the-scenes still gallery; French poster concepts; "The Garden Gnome's Travels" and storyboards.

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Audrey Tautou Amélie
Mathieu Kassovitz Nino Quincampoix
Rufus Raphael Poulain (Amélie's father)
Yolande Moreau Madeleine Wallace
Artus de Penguern Hipolito (the writer)
Urbain Cancelier Collignon (the grocer)
Dominique Pinon Joseph
Maurice Bénichou Bretodeau (the box man)
Claude Perron Eva (the strip teaser)
Isabelle Nanty Georgette
Claire Maurier Suzanne
Serge Merlin Dufayel
Clotilde Mollet Gina
Jamel Debbouze Lucien
André Dussollier Narrator
Michel Robin Old Man Collignon
Lorella Cravotta Amandine Poulain
Flora Guiet Amélie (8 years old)
Armelle Philomene
Amaury Babault Nino (as a child)
Jean Darie The Blind Man
Ticky Holgado The Photo Booth Man
Marc Amyot The Stranger
Andrée Damant Mrs. Collignon
Dominique Bettenfeld The Screaming Neighbor
Frankye Pain The Newsstand Woman
Eugene Berthier Eugene Koler
Marion Pressburger Credits Helper
Charles-Roger Bour The Urinal Man
Luc Palun Amandine's Grocer
Fabienne Chaudat Woman in Coma
Jacques Viala The Customer Who Humiliates His Friend
Fabien Behar The Humiliated Customer
Jonathan Joss The Humiliated Customer's Son
Jean-Pierre Becker The Bum
Thierry Gibault The Endive Client
Franois Bercovici His Buddy
Guillaume Viry Dominique Bredoteau Woman
Valérie Zarrouk Bretodeau as a child
Marie-Laure Descoureaux The Dead Man's Concierge
Sophie Tellier Aunt Josette
Gérald Weingand The Teacher
Francois Viaur The Bar Owner
Paule Dare His Employee
Myriam Labbe The Tobacco Buyer
Robert Gendreu Café Patron
Julianna Kovacs Grocer's Client
Mady Malroux Twin
Monette Malroux Twin
Valériane De Villeneuve The Laughing Woman
Isis Peyrade Samantha
Raymonde Heudeline Phantom Train Cashier
Christiane Bopp Woman By The Merry-Go-Round
Thierry Arfeuilleres Statue Man
Jerry Lucas The Sacré-Coeur Boy
Patrick Paroux The Street Prompter
Francois Aubineau The Concierge's Postman
Philippe Beautier Poulain's Postman
Régis Iacono Felix L' Herbier
Franck-Olivier Bonnet Palace Video
Alain Floret The Concierge's Husband
Jean-Pol Brissard The Postman
Jacques Thebault Voice Only
Frederic Mitterrand Voice Only

Technical Credits
Jean-Pierre Jeunet Director,Screenwriter
Vincent Arnardi Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer
Sylvie Bello Costumes/Costume Designer
Pierre-Jacques Benichou Casting
Aline Bonetto Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Jean-Baptiste Bonetto Special Effects
Rémi Canaple Stunts
Patrick Cauderlier Stunts
Noël Chainbaux Special Effects
Sophie Chiabaut Sound/Sound Designer
Bruno Delbonnel Cinematographer
Yves Domenjoud Special Effects
Edouard Dubois Consultant/advisor
Véronique Elise Costumes/Costume Designer
Valerie Espagne Casting
Madeline Fontaine Costumes/Costume Designer
Pascaline Girardot Stunts
Oliver Gleyze Special Effects
Gerard Hardy Sound Editor
Jean-Claude Lagniez Stunts
Guillaume Laurant Screenwriter
Emma Lebail Costumes/Costume Designer
Daniel Lenoir Special Effects
Guillaume Leriche Sound/Sound Designer
Claudie Ossard Producer
Thierry Reymoneno Special Effects
Volker Schaefer Art Director
Herve Schneid Editor
Sébastien Seveau Stunts
Antoine Simkine Executive Producer
Yann Tiersen Score Composer
Nathalie Tissier Makeup
Jean Umansky Sound/Sound Designer
Arne Meerkamp Van Embden Producer
Christophe Vassort Asst. Director
Les Versaillais Special Effects

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Amelie
1. Opening Credits: Amélie's Childhood [9:04]
2. Montmartre [5:09]
3. The Memory Box [7:15]
4. Looking For Bredoteau [9:09]
5. Amélie, Guardian Angel [8:18]
6. Soul Mates [8:35]
7. Amélie Strikes Again [17:28]
8. Grumpy Collignon [7:43]
9. Amélie Looks For Nino [6:17]
10. Games [1:31]
11. New Strategies [1:58]
12. The Mystery Man Unveiled [2:28]
13. "When and Where?" [8:07]
14. Rendezvous at the Photo Booth [7:05]
15. "Absence Makes..." [6:24]
16. Seizing an Opportunity [6:11]
17. End Credits [6:28]

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