Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain
NOT AVAILABLE ANYMORE TO STREAM ON NETFLIX. NOW AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX DVD. This may sound a bit presumptuous, but I think I speak for every franco-cinophile, when I say that this is the ultimate French Netflix choice; the mother of all FrenchFlicks recommendations. For much of my generation that enjoys the latest foreign films, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie (Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain) was the gateway drug that introduced to us just how superb the world of French cinema can be.
Amelie's magic and innocence is personified by the main character, Amelie Poulain (Audrey Tautou). Amelie is a young Parisian, who possesses a moral code so upstanding and warm- hearted towards everyone around her, she forms a mixture that is half Mother Theresa, half Sherlock Holmes. Romanced by the people and details in her world, she finds small and imaginative ways to make every life she touches a bit brighter.
Speaking of bright, it is not Amelie Poulain's nature alone that contributes to the film's brilliance. Literally, Jeunet fills each scene with the warmth and radiance of red and yellow, with pops of vivacious green, a touch that is assuring and integral to the theme that dictates the film's celebration of life. It's as if there's a mantra throughout, that whispers, "It's the little things."
Life's petite pleasures are something the French know well, and this idea bounds across the screen, in your face, and throughout the plot, much to the viewer's delight. Emotions and special effects are used and portrayed with whimsy and fantasy, comparable to Bollywood and a Baz Luhrman film.
Shockingly, in 2001, Audrey Tautou was not the big name in this project, but a few of the oddball characters were, including Jamel Debbouze, and Mathieu Kassovitz.
A perfect choice for Valentines Day, enjoy this delectable nugget of sweetness on Netflix this week.