Amélie is one’s of those movies I’ve always known I would enjoy but for some reason I can’t explain, took me too long to watch. Despite the huge popularity it gained in the US, I had also heard the movie was a great source of inspiration for someone who is tackling screenwriting and whoever said that is an Einstein. I’ve been writing, slowly but surely. Back to the movie though, it breaks many ground rules of screenwriting from the start. Descriptive narration is constant. The main characters hardly ever speak to each other and fantasy blends in with reality unapologetically. It’s just brilliant.
When still a child, a few tragedies happen in Amélie’s life. Two consecutive deaths in the family are enough to transform Amélie into a very shy and recluse young lady. One day she finds a box buried under the bathroom tile full of treasures from someone’s past. Instead of leaving it alone she decides to go on a journey to find the original owner and that’s when her life begins taking a clever turn.
Adult Amélie is played by Aubrey Tautou and I couldn’t help but observe that even though she’s a grown woman, living on her own in Paris, there’s a childish quality to her behavior that follows her everywhere. Even after falling in love she still carries that innocent but mischievous look on her face that is so intriguing. I honestly could never look at this character and think of her as the woman she is, with her grown-up job, her vintage apartment and her peculiar friends (or lack of them). That’s what’s so fascinating about Amélie. She gives us permission to look at her and really see the vulnerable child inside, while most of us spend our lives trying to camouflage what’s left of it.
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