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Audrey Tautou in Amélie (2001)

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posted by Truus, Bob & Jan too! alias Truus, Bob & Jan too! on Thursday 13th of January 2022 07:48:14 AM

Australian postcard by AvantCard, no. 6149, Postcard 3 in a series of 6. Photo: Dendy. Audrey Tatou in Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain/Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001). Caption: Amelie lives in Paris and in a world of her own. Some Fridays, Amelie goes to the movies. She likes looking back at people's faces in the dark. Amelie notices the shy people always laugh the loudest. Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001) is a French romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tautou. The film, written by Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant, is a romanticised portrayal of life in Montmartre, Paris. The film became an international box-office hit and was awarded four Césars internationally (including for best film and best director) and received five Academy Award nominations. The music was composed by Yann Tiersen. The film describes the fairy-tale-like and romantic story of the young woman Amélie Poulain who decides one day that she can make other people happy with little things. Amélie grows up isolated from other children because she is thought to suffer from a heart condition. Her father, a doctor, never touches her, so that her heartbeat rises with enthusiasm when he does during the examination. Amélie's mother, who is very neurotic, dies when Amélie is still a child because a Canadian woman who jumps off Notre Dame falls on top of her. Amélie's father shuts himself off even more from the world and starts building a mausoleum for his dead wife. Because she is always on her own, Amélie develops a very rich imagination. When Amélie is older, she becomes a waitress in the Café des 2 Moulins, a small café in the Montmartre district of Paris. The owner is Suzanne, a former circus performer, and the guests are colourful. Amélie, who is 23 at the time, leads a simple life. She takes pleasure in simple things like breaking the sugar coating on crème brûlée, throwing pebbles on the Canal Saint-Martin and fantasising about how many couples in Paris are having an orgasm at that moment. Her life changes on the day of Princess Diana's death. Through a series of events that follow her shock at the news, she discovers a small metal box behind a skirting board in her bathroom. Inside this box are memories of a boy who lived in the flat decades before Amélie. Fascinated by this, she goes in search of this now grown-up person to give him back the box. She makes an agreement with herself that if she succeeds and the person is happy, she will dedicate her life to the good things in life and helping others. Jean-Pierre Jeunet began jotting down ideas and memories in 1974, which form the basis of Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001). The profits from Alien: Resurrection (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 1997) enabled him to make a film without making commercial concessions. In Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001), Jeunet reintroduces elements from the short film Foutaises (1990), especially the "il aime/il n'aime pas" (he likes/he doesn't like) fragments in the presentation of the characters. The almost constant presence of the colour combination of strong red and strong green that could already be seen in La cité des enfants perdus/The City of the Lost Children (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro, 1995) returns in this film. Jeunet says in the DVD's commentary track that the idea of the album of discarded pictures came from the French writer Michel Folco, who owns such an album. Because of intellectual property rights, Jeunet could not use this album, so he had to work with extras. The film uses computer graphics and digital post-production (digital intermediate). Jeunet had actually written the role of Amélie for Emily Watson. In the original script, Amélie's father was an Englishman living in London. However, Emily Watson's French was not good enough and there was a time conflict due to the filming of Gosford Park (Robert Altman, 2001). Jeunet, therefore, rewrote the script for French actress Audrey Tautou. Filming took place at the Café des 2 Moulins in Paris, at the Gare du Nord station, outside at the Gare de l'Est and at the Sacré-Cœur church. Since the film was financially supported by the Filmstiftung NRW, the interior shots of the film were shot at the MMC Studio Coloneum in Cologne. The German painter Michael Sowa contributed some bizarre interior details. He created the pig lamp as well as some of the paintings in Amélie's room, which can be seen in the background. For the TV sequence that suddenly refers to Amélie's life in the subtitles ("Raymond Dufayel's attempt to interfere is unacceptable. If Amélie prefers to live in her dream world and remain an introverted young woman, that is her right. Because the right to a failed life is inviolable!"), a sequence from the second part of the four-part Soviet film epic Blockade (1974) about the siege of Leningrad in the Second World War was used. A recurring theme of Georges Delerue's film music for François Truffaut's film Jules te Jim/Jules and Jim (1962) is varied several times by Yann Tiersen in his soundtrack for Amelie as the main theme. At the 2002 Césars, Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain won Best Film, Best Director, Best Score and Best Production Design. It was also nominated in nine other categories, including Best Original Screenplay and Audrey Tautou for Best Actress in a Leading Role. At the 2001 European Film Awards, the film won in four categories: Best European Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and the Jameson Audience Award for Best Director. Audrey Tautou was also nominated for Best Actress. The film was nominated for an Oscar in 2002 in the five categories Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Sound, but did not prevail in any of the categories. The film received good reviews both in France and internationally. The film did not enter the official competition at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival, as Gilles Jacob, who was responsible for the film selection, said he found it "uninteresting". This caused a major public debate, as the rejection was interpreted in many places as a contradiction to the great media interest in the film and as a decision "against the audience". Jean-Pierre Jeunet reacted to the rejection by bringing forward the film's theatrical release; "Amélie" now ran parallel to the ongoing festival. Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001) grossed 140 million US dollars worldwide, 33 million of which in the USA. Sources: Wikipedia (Dutch and German), and IMDb. And, please check out our blog European Film Star Postcards.

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