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Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie first arrived in the UK in 2001 and brought a sun-tinged escape into a lovingly imagined Paris, featuring then largely unknown 23-year-old Audrey Tautou in a star-making turn as the titular heroine. 

“a film about the joys of life itself…”

After an amusing glimpse into her lonely childhood where she develops her intricate imagination, Amélie embarks upon her self-appointed quest to improve the lives of those around her in varying ways. Surrounded by a cast of eccentric characters with a multitude of woes, Amélie begins devoting more and more time to her sweetly inventive acts of kindness. Of course, what she didn’t account for was the age-old quandary of falling in love. It may sound sweet, (and it is) but Amélie achieves what is becoming an increasing rarity in magical-realist films and never devolves into overly quirky sentimentality.

With glorious Parisian locations bathed in a distinctly warm visual style and propelled by the ever present accordion-led score by Yann Tierson, the film is as charming as it is French.  As enchanting and fanciful as it is, Amélie is ultimately a film about the joys of life itself, and a love letter to the people who surround us every day.