Imagine, but the movie “Amelie” already 20 years old, and this unusual romantic comedy is still relevant. Why do we still need magical moments in our lives so much?
So, two decades ago, a girl from Paris Montmartre conquered the world.
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Amelie Poulin, the protagonist of the fourth full-length film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, is an ordinary waitress with an unusual imagination who loves the simple, everyday joys of life. However, a girl who had a sad childhood often feels lonely and looks for like-minded friends.
Amelie meets a number of other eccentrics, and gives the viewer a glimpse into the lives of other people – all against the backdrop of charming Paris.
The film immediately won the hearts of the audience, and later also inspired the creation of a musical and even the name of the recently discovered species of frogs.
What makes the picture “Amelie” (it would be more correct to call it “The fabulous fate of Amelie Poulin”) so iconic and popular to this day?
History of creation
Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet made a name for himself in films even before he started working on the script. Amelie.
His debut film “Delicacies” (1991) also achieved cult status. And his 1995 sci-fi picture “City of Lost Children” (starring Ron Perlman) was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
But Wife’s attempt to conquer Hollywood was already less successful when he removed the fourth part of the popular franchise Alien: Resurrection (1997), but received a lot of criticism.
Planning filming “Amelie” the director initially saw British actress Emily Watson as the main character, but her French was weak, and Emily herself had already agreed to star in the film “Gosford Park” Robert Altman. Jean-Pierre Zhenya had to hastily look for another performer.
Zhenet once noticed on a poster for a French romantic comedy “Beauty salon” Venera “ actress Audrey Tautou. He invited her to audition and immediately approved for the main role.
Now it is difficult to imagine that Amelie was played by someone else. Despite her fragile appearance, Amelie is an energetic and even mischievous girl who constantly causes some kind of chaos around her.
After accidentally discovering a cache with a tin box in her house, she vows to devote her life to making other people happy, although in fact this is how she makes up for her loneliness.
Amelie lost her mother as a child and grew up with a reclusive father, so she is drawn to the outside world and wants to make friends.
City of dreamers
Spectators are happy to follow Amelie’s adventures in Paris, a vibrant city where life is no less vibrant all the time. The French capital in the film resembles a city from tourist postcards, and it perfectly underlines Amelie’s cheerfulness.
This sense of romance and everyday magic is captured beautifully by the music of Jan Tiersen. His compositions are used very effectively to highlight Amelie’s changeable mood.
Paris, on the other hand, looks like a city of eccentric and open people, like an unreal place, where there is some elusive magic on every street. And if the real world is harsher, then Wife and his team are mustering the courage to show the kind and soft reality where dreamers and creative personalities live.
When Amelie is left alone in her apartment, her world seems calmer, but her loneliness becomes evident. This feeling is probably familiar to anyone who lives in a city surrounded by people, but cannot build relationships with them.
And this problem is even more urgent during a global pandemic that forces people to stay at home and deprives many of the joys of human communication.
Audrey Brisson starring in the musical “Amelie” at the london theater Criterion, believes that this is one of the main reasons why Amelie’s story continues to attract viewers’ attention:
“We have all gone through more than a year of isolation, and now the lack of communication and the feeling of loneliness have become an even more acute problem. “Amelie” – this is a story about people who suffer from the fact that they cannot communicate with each other, but they learn to push their boundaries and form those bonds. “
The appearance of the musical
Musical version “Amelie” was first presented in 2015. In 2017, the musical also appeared on Broadway, where it was very warmly received by the public.
Following global changes in London’s West End, a new version by Michael Fentiman was launched in 2019, and his production received many positive reviews and nominations for three Laurence Olivier and Grammy Awards.
In May 2021 “Amelie” started playing in the theater Criterionand this musical continues to draw audiences eager to experience the little Parisian magic on the streets of London.
It lacks many of the film’s highlights, but the musical draws on Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s source material, although the director himself has distanced himself from theatrical production.
Even if Zhenya is not happy with the musical version of her film, Amelie’s story continues to resonate with the public. It is a fantasy story that invites viewers to stop in everyday life to discover moments of quiet magic.
Of course, there are those who have not succumbed to Amelie’s spell. In an article for publication LAWeekly film critic Manola Dargis named the film “Insane bore, insisting on adoration of the audience, while not requiring their intelligence.”
The film also had a noticeable impact on the area where it took place. Institution Café des 2 Moulins at the intersection of Rue Lepic and Cochua in Montmartre has become a popular destination for tourists and fans “Amelie” and local residents still benefit from it.
It’s funny, but the picture was not chosen for the Cannes Film Festival. Zhenet commented that the president of the festival, Gilles Jacob, named her “Uninteresting”.
But in July 2021“Amelie” finally showcased in Cannes at a special anniversary screening on the beach. Hundreds of fans came to watch the film under the stars in an environment that seemed as romantic as the story of the protagonist itself. The magic of Amelie Poulin continues to affect the audience in the most mysterious way.
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