3.48pm – I should really start to watch Amélie but my determination for this blog is slowly dieing… this is not good! Might read some more of my Julie/Julia book to boost me up again.
4.18pm – Have read another chapter of Julie Powell’s Julie/Julia and now I’m ready to watch Amélie. Its amazing how easily influenced I am!
8.36pm – WATCHED & REVIEWED:
This is a great film, I can see why so many of my fellow films studies students and friends say they like it so much. It’s a very different, weird take on romantic comedies though its not really a romantic comedy until the last hour but its still very different. It has an almost Tim Burton feel about it, where you can tell they put so much thought and effort into it and it just happened to be wonderfully weird.
AHH! Its totally in French! I didn’t read the synopsis, I’d only ever associated this movie with the poster and the still of Amélie holding the spoon to the camera. Maybe I’m just ignorant but I assumed that because so many of my friends love this movie that it would be in English. I misjudged my friends terribly and for this I am sorry.
For the first 15min, the film is told [literally, there’s a narrator] in a way that reminds me of Catherine Tate’s Lauren Cooper [am I bothered?] where she says stories really quickly with short sentences. I don’t know why as the narrator is far from chavvy [if you don’t know what chavvy is, Google it] but its just the style which is similar. I liked it, either way. It was a great, new way of narrating and moving the story along.
The colouring of this movie is beautiful. There is an almost green tint to it. It makes average colours look pretty and it just gives the film a whole different feeling. Very artistic!
We get introductions to all of the different characters, big and small. We get their name, a sentence about themselves then another sentence about either what they like or what they hate. The sentence about their like or dislike often doesn’t have any relation to what’s happening on the screen or you just wouldn’t expect. For instance, there is a guy who’s pretty mental, he just sits there practically stalking his ex-girlfriend and talking into a voice recorder, recording her every move, then the narrator says he likes nothing more than bubble wrap the camera drops to below the table he’s sitting at and we see him popping bubble wrap!
This movie is funny but its not ‘laugh out loud’ funny. Its ‘laugh on the inside’ funny. I wouldn’t even say its ‘smile because its funny’ funny. But it is funny. Its hard to explain but I tried!
The characters are always breaking down the 4th wall. For those of you for don’t know the technical term of breaking down the 4th wall, it means this; in movie, they look at the camera and acknowledge it, in theatre its when the actor acknowledges the audience. Get it? Anyways, its a great technique that I love, espeically in theatre.
There was one bit that made me smile which was the suicidal fish. I used to have a suicidal fish too. I don’t even think we named him but whatever. My dad was cleaning out the fish tank and had put the fish in the baking bowl [with water, obviously, we didn’t bake them] and it took my dad about an hour to clean the tank and then he walked back into the kitchen where the fish were and he saw something black on the floor. He thought it was a slug then he realized it was the black fish! He picked it up, put it back in the water and it was still alive!! I think we had 2 fish by the time we moved into the rented house before we moved to USA and the suicidal fish was actually the last one to die! Ironic really. Must of pissed him off.
There are a couple of stories of Amélie’s childhood which are quite funny. The one that stood out for me was the one about the neighbor who said it was Amélie’s photography that’s causing all the accidents and she becomes incredibly guilty. She soon realizes that he lied. As revenge, Amélie climbs onto her neighbor’s roof and pulls out his TV cable whenever France were about to score in football/soccer. Oh, how I would love to do that whenever Tom or Dad were watching football. Oh, how sweet the fun would be.
As you watch the movie, you watch Amélie slowly make impacts on other people’s lives. She returns some lost childhood treasure to a man who lived in her apartment 40 years ago. She helps the painter [who has a weak skeleton] on how to sense what the people in the paintings are feeling [I think, that’s what I got from it anyway]. She used her friendship with an airhostess and her father’s precious gnome to get her father to travel which he couldn’t do before because he thought Amélie has heart problems. She helps her co-worker have a little happiness in her life. She helps the boys she kind of liked get a little unknown revenge on his boss by changing things in his apartment to make him slowly feel like he’s going insane. What makes these things extra special is the fact that none of the people she helped know that it was her, Amélie, that helped them. What makes her want to help these people is that she imagined her funeral and eulogy where people said she was “Godmother of Outcasts” and “Madonna of the Unloved”.
Amélie found a partner who was just as weird and as much of an outsider as her. Their first proper meeting, with them knowing who each other are for certain, Amélie kisses the guy first on the side of his mouth, then his neck then his eye and he then repeats it to her. Its so sweet and so loving. Its hard to describe why I loved that part so much. Suppose because its different from other first ‘kisses’.
We get a few glimpses into Amélie’s imagination. Being an only child, home schooled with a father who didn’t show emotions, Amélie often resorted to her imagination. She pretends to be Zoro a couple of times, her paintings and lamp talk and when she was younger, she’d give checkups on an imaginary crocodile. At least I thought it was a crocodile. may have been some other big greenish thing. Its interesting to see a romcom use CGI as its often the genre that tries to stay away from it. Oooo just remembered another CGI moment. Amélie’s love interest leaves after Amélie’s cover is almost blown and as soon as he’s out the door, she literally turns into water and splashes to the floor, becoming a puddle. How brilliant! More romcoms should do stuff like that.
Amélie makes videos for the painter. I’m not entirely sure why, maybe to give him inspiration or something. Anyways, one of these videos has clips of babies swimming underwater and I got totally distracted for about 15 minutes, looking up clips of babies swimming! By the way, do it! YouTube babies swimming, its so cute.
Great movie and a lovely refreshingly new take on romantic comedies.