This 2001 feature by Jean-Pierre Jeunet was both loved and hated in its native France. It's the candy-colored, whimsical tale of an introverted young woman (Audrey Tautou) who decides overnight to become the fairy godmother of her neighborhood. Her campaign is prompted by the discovery of a little boy's treasure box, which is what Jeunet seeks to reproduce—a sense of the world as a collection of fetishized objects that convey emotions and states of mind (literally, in the case of the plaster lawn gnome Amelie steals from her father's garden and sends on a round-the-world tour). The ease with which the perky, big-eyed heroine succeeds in improving the lot of everyone around her and the painterly manner in which reality is “improved” constitute the film's “quirky” charm and its pure fishiness. Jeunet has succeeded at drawing us inside his head; the question is, do we want to be there? In French with subtitles.
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Producer: Claudie Ossard
Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Yolande Moreau, Dominique Pinon, Maurice Benichou, Claude Perron, Isabelle Nanty, Claire Maurier, Clotilde Mollet, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Flora Guiet, André Dussollier, Michel Robin, Lorella Cravotta, Armelle, Ticky Holgado, Andrée Damant, Franckie Pain and Jean Darie