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Amélie (2001, Audrey Taatou, Mathieu Kassovitz)



Audrey Tautou play the elfin-like Amelie Poulain, a young waitress in a Montmartre café who spends her life alone, alienated from life by her neurotic mother (now dead) and her emotionless father. But her life changes when she discovers a box of toys hidden in her flat’s wainscotting many years previously by a young boy. Seeking out the now grown man to return the box, she sees the pleasure it brings and decides to dedicate herself to making people happy, from her concierge, deserted by her husband to the hypochondria tabac assistant in the café who really just needs a passionate lover to cure her.

And her empty life is further filled when she comes across Nino Quincampoix (Mathieu Kassovitz), a porn shop worker whose hobby is collecting discarded photo-booth pictures which he adds to a montage in his flat. Amelie pursues him with enigmatic messages and meetings and eventually snares her true love.

Jeunet, director of Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children , brings to life a Montmartre that critics have accused of being like the Notting Hill shown in the film of the same title – sanitised, impossibly colourful and bereft of ethnic minorities. But in both films, that is precisely the point – they are fairy tale romances and Jeunet uses special effects, such as Amelie literally melting when first seeing Nino, to emphasise the message, filling the screen with colour and air. The gamine , doe-eyed Tautou is no conventional beauty but her charisma bursts off the screen and with a superb supporting cast, this film was deservedly honoured with awards as well as box office receipts, making it one of France’s biggest commercial and critical exports ever.

production details
France | 122 minutes | 2001

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Script: Guillaume Laurant, Jean-Pierre Jeunet,

Audrey Tautou as Amélie Poulain
Mathieu Kassovitz as Nino Quincampoix
Rufus as Raphaël Poulain
Jamel Debbouze as Lucien
Claire Maurier as Suzanne
Isabelle Nanty as Georgette
Dominique Pinon as Joseph
Artus de Penguern as Hipolito
Yolande Moreau as Madeleine Wallace
Lorella Cravotta as Amandine Poulain
Serge Merlin as Raymond Dufayel
Clotilde Mollet as Gina
Urbain Cancelier as Collignon
Maurice Bénichou as Dominique Bretodeau
Michel Robin as M. Collignon
Andrée Damant as Mme. Collignon
Claude Perron as Eva
Armelle as Philomène
Ticky Holgado as L’homme dans la photo
Marc Amyot as L’inconnu des photomatons
André Dussollier as Narrator / Récitant (voice)
Eugène Berthier as Eugène Koler
Charles-Roger Bour as L’homme à la vespasienne
Luc Palun as épicier d’Amandine
Fabienne Chaudat as La femme dans le coma
Dominique Bettenfeld as Le voisin d’Amélie
Fabien Béhar as Le client humilié
Jean-Pierre Becker as Le clochard
Jean Darie as L’aveugle
Thierry Gibault as Le client aux endives
Franck Monier as Dominique Bredoteau jeune
Guillaume Viry as Le S.D.F.
Valérie Zarrouk as Dominique Bredoteau femme
Marie-Laure Descoureaux as La concierge du mort
Sophie Tellier as La Tante Josette
Gérald Weingand as L’instituteur
François Viaur as Le patron du bistrot
Paule Daré as Son employée
Jean Rupert as L’opéré des cloisons nasales
Frankie Pain as La marchande de journaux
Philippe Paimblanc as Le contrôleur du train
Robert Gendreu as Le client du café
Christiane Bopp as La femme près du manège
Patrick Paroux as Le souffleur de rue
François Aubineau as Le facteur de la concierge
Philippe Beautier as Le facteur de Poulain
Régis Iacono as Félix L’Herbier
Franck-Olivier Bonnet as Palace Video (voice)
Alain Floret as Le mari de la concierge (voice)
Jean-Pol Brissart as Jacques Grosjean (voice)
Frédéric Mitterrand as Himself (voice)
Dean Baykan as (uncredited)
Clément Chebli as (uncredited)
Valérie Labro as (uncredited)
Manoush as Nymphomaniac (uncredited)