I grew up loving fairy tales. I even wrote a paper about French fairy tales and feminism in the 15th Century. Did you know a lot of fairy tales were passed from mothers to daughters? Some were cautionary tales about womanhood. One of my favorites involved a woman and an axe. Amelie is a modern day fairy tale.
Amelie is a lonely waitress who lives by herself and is used to keeping to herself. When she finds a tin box full of old toys in her apartment’s wall, she goes on a mission to return the box to its rightful owner. She is able to do so anonymously. After a successful kind deed, Amelie decides to continue doing random acts of kindnesses a la Year of Kindness. You can’t do kind things without kind things returning to you. Amelie gets the biggest return for her kind deeds: deep and meaningful relationships with those around her.
I remember the first time I watched the movie it had a distinct feel to it. Right away, I felt like I was in a different place and time even though it is set in 1997. After watching the extras on the DVD, I learned that the director is a fan of the Brazilian artist Juarez Machado. They showed how his paintings were primarily green and red with something blue as an accent color. Then they showed scenes where everything was red and green. Then they showed places they added the blue accent like a car or a digitally added a blue lamp. After seeing this, it made me feel like I needed to step up my game as a screenwriter and filmmaker.
I will warn you that this movie is French, and if you are uncomfortable with nudity, you should probably not watch the opening title sequence. It shows a woman’s body growing a baby inside it. Then there is the part where Amelie thinks there are fifteen people having orgasms at that exact moment. It’s a little creepy.
Favorite Line: If you let this chance pass, eventually, your heart will become as dry and brittle as my skeleton.
Favorite Character: Nino
Favorite Scene: When Amelie watches TV, and all she sees is her neurotic thoughts about how her life turns out.