Rewatching ‘Amelie’

It’s been several years since I watched Amelie, but I had the chance to watch it last night. It’s a fun film.

  • SImilarity to MicMacs
  • Different conflict structure
  • The photograph guy

Aesthetically, Amelie has a lot in common with Micmacs, also by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. There’s a sense of beauty in the world, captured in the simple things. Bright, colourful scenes, a visual tone that draws on a nostalgia for an earlier era. A fascination with the intricacy of life, of how small things ripple and impact other people, permeates both films.

Their plot lines are very different though. Micmacs is a story about an initially powerless person against powerful ones, about the inversion of power and justice, through cunning and appealing to the community for justice. Amelie is really about an internal conflict within Amelie.

Her character’s established (in the opening scenes, and with that pervasive narration that makes Jeunet’s work occasionally feel novelistic) as introverted, withdrawn because she is afraid of the world, although she desperately wants connection. What follows is the working out of that tension. It seems safe to say at this point that there’s no need to worry about spoilers, but in case you haven’t seen it, I’ll say that it’s a satisfying resolution, and worth watching. As is Micmacs.


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