- Product Rating -

Art House Asshole : Amélie

| February 3, 2017

You know how when you’re wanting to go to the movie theater and you look up all the films that are showing and there are alway at least three that you’ve never heard of, let alone have any interest in seeing? Well, good news! I’ve seen those movies. I spend most of my theater experiences in art house theaters watching those movies that you’ve never heard of and then never watch. Yeah, I’m that hipster asshole. My goal with this is to spread information out about these films, that way you can decide one of the following. “That actually sounds pretty cool! I want to see that now!” or “Man, I’m glad I decided to go see the new superhero movie!”. So without further ado, here is my article and review of Amélie!

I needed a good palette cleanser after January’s reviews. Between Trash Humpers, Aaaaaaaah!, and Live by Night, I was pretty ready for a feel goody kind of film to enjoy. And that is exactly what I got with this film! Good job me! You choose the right film to watch this week! For once you didn’t choose a film that you watch knowing that no one would ever care about that film except for you! Your family loves you! This was one of the reasons why I watched this film, the other being that this has always been on my list of shame for films that I know I need to see at some point in my life. And then in my editing class this week, we had to cross films off of a list that we have seen to show our knowledge of what films we have already watched. And, this has happened to me multiple times, by the way, I was shamed for not seeing this film. So screw it! I write a weekly review series where I review Art House films, I’ll use that as an excuse to finally watch this film. You’re welcome me and the rest of the world!

Amélie is just delightful. I know I am probably the last person to ever recommend this film to you. I mean this is kind of the go-to film for anyone who wants to get into French Cinema but has never dipped their toes in it. But I won’t be the asshole this week and say “Oh it’s bullshit and overrated.” Not this week. Cough. Cough. La La Land. Cough.

Amélie follows a very innocent woman in France who grows up under wacky circumstances and now as an adult, she is dedicating to being a matchmaker and generally helping people around her. There is practically no conflict in this entire damn film. Which I am kind of okay with. It’s charming. Kind of in a Wes Anderson kind of way. The film, in general, has a very kid-like look to everything. Throughout the film, I wanted to call the film either surrealist or absurdist, but at the same time, the tone of the film really doesn’t fit either of those. A more accurate way to describe the film is that it is just silly. “Silly” is a word that I will rarely use to describe something because usually there are better words to describe art and using the word “Silly” make me sound like a child. But with a film with such a child-like wonder as much as this film, that is really the best way to describe the film.

The transitions in the film are silly. The writing in the film is silly. The acting in the film is silly. The film feels like it crawled right out of a child’s daydream. Which gives kind of a strange juxtaposition when there is kind of a large amount of sex in the film. Not a lot by any means. It isn’t like this film is a kid reimagined Blue is the Warmest Color or anything. But there is some loud and in your face kind of sex in this film. And when you jump from Audrey Tautou being adorable and smiling at the camera, to the moans of these two kind of unattractive (subjective) people, you get a strange seeing your parents naked kind of feeling. That is present, though it didn’t destroy the film for me by any means.

With everything that I have said thus far, you might be thinking “Then why isn’t this a five out of five-star film?” And the fact of the matter is that besides what I just mentioned, I really don’t have any issue with this film. It isn’t only well made but has a distinct style, something that will always give a film bonus points in my book. Besides the fact that it feels kind of vignette-like with the various tasks Amélie does throughout the film, I wouldn’t say I ever got bored. The film just never fully connected with me to absolutely adore the film.

But hold the phone.

This happens with me with really every feel good movie. I watch it and afterward I’m like “Yeah! I love that! That makes me happy! Go screw yourself Society that makes me sad!” but I am never like “You have to go see this film!” Because in all honesty, depressing and sad films I have an easier time recommending. Maybe that says something about me. It probably does say something about me. But we are moving past that. What always happens with feel good movies is that it takes me around three weeks after watching the film to realize how good it is. Then I rewatch it when I want a feel good movie and I bump it up almost always. This has happened with Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Chef, Sing Street. And it will probably happen with this film. But for now, it will remain where it is. It’s a good film and I’m glad I saw it. Now that we are in the cold and depressing season, check this film out if you want to feel all nice and fuzzy. Because there is a reason why even non-art house assholes still watch this French film from the early 2000s.

About the Author:

Henry Jarvis is the youngest member of the Reel Nerds. His favorite films include Space Jam and Dude, Where’s My Car? and Lawrence of Arabia. He enjoys those pretentious art house films that Ryan hates. He sees a lot of movies! Honestly more than he should. He replaces his lack of social skills and meaningful friendships with his love of cinema! He’s also crying while he writes this biography for himself. His favorite directors are Andrei Tarkovsky, David Fincher, and David Lean.
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