Read another review of this film.
Much has been said about Amélie, it has received most of the plaudits and attention it, and all of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's other French-language films, deserves. It is a magical story, told in an invigorating and spellbinding manner. As with Jeunet's Caro collaborations, Delicatessen and The City Of Lost Children, the film is visually sumptuous: deep greens, reds and yellow ochre are the order of the day, and the small details are arranged in a scarily obsessive manner. Everything about the way this film looks is perfect, from costumes and props, to facial expressions. The story is captivating and compelling, sad and funny, heart-warming yet dark. The acting is, as expected, exemplary. Time magazine cover star, Audrey Tautou, in the lead role, is eminently watchable - beautiful, quirky and 100 percent Amélie - and the supporting cast (including La Haine's Mathieu Kassovitz) is perfect (with a special mention to the ubiquitous Dominique Pinon, for once playing the bad guy). My one and only criticism - and the reason that I still rate Amélie behind Jeunet's first two films - is that the story drags its heels just a little too much reaching the conclusion, and could have done with losing maybe 10 minutes or so.
Still, Amélie is in many ways Jeunet's breakthrough film - the damage done by Alien Resurrection is now well and truly behind him - and will hopefully help to point the movie world in general back towards a more magical arena. The only bad point about the amount of success and attention it has gathered, is the inevitable US remake 10 years down the line.
This special edition DVD is brimming with extra features, making it well worth the outlay. The first disc still contains an excellent commentary from Jean Pierre Jeunet. The second disc contains a short making-of feature, a nice little monologue from Jeunet about all the problems and the little pieces of luck he had in making the film, in which he comes across as a very genuine and down-to-earth character. There's footage from a Q&A session during a press screening in Paris, which is very comical and worth watching for Jamel Debouze's little jokes at Jeunet's expense, and for Audrey Tautou's coyness. And then there's some candid screen tests from (among others) Tautou, behind the scenes photos, a couple of storyboard to screen sections, and some delightfully silly features - including one which is just a long reel of Tautou pulling silly faces and cracking up in front of camera. Top marks for an excellent double disc set.