Films like Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie: The Fantastic Journey of Amélie Poulain (or Amélie in the English-speaking world) are rare.
the story of a young French girl who represents karma and deals out just punishment to evildoers, as well as childhood memories to the good, is simple, but captivating. Audrey Tautou, the actress who brings this iconic creation to life, enjoys cracking the top of a brûlée with a spoon, skimming stones, and granting holidays to inanimate objects.
Unfortunately, because of Amélie’s uniqueness, there are no films that can be compared. Jeunet’s previous films (Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children, and Alien: Resurrection) all dealt with darker themes and, while they are all great films, they are not as approachable or lighthearted as Amélie.
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that Jeunet’s post-2001 output pales in comparison to his exuberant, life-affirming magnum opus. For the sake of her career, Tautou did not want to be typecast in roles as scheming women (Priceless), plucky immigrants (Dirty Pretty Things), or as a Sexy Lamp for Tom Hanks to talk to in mindless Hollywood fare (The Da Vinci Code).
What makes Amélie special is its candy-colored style, Tautou’s childlike wonder and intangible likeability as an actress, its twee quest and mystery, magic realism sprinkles and postmodernism, as well as Yann Tiersen’s mesmerizing score. All of these elements come together to create an unforgettable experience. Above all, its quirks stem from a deep-seated desire to love and be loved, which gives the game a comforting, cozy vibe unlike any other.
When things aren’t going as planned, Amélie is there to give you some solace. Her greatest foe is a monstrous greengrocer. In an effort to recommend films that share some of these characteristics, this list was compiled, but as we all know, no one can compare to Amélie.
1. City Lights (1931)
Jim Carrey was once described as a “physical comedian who can make you laugh with nothing more than the frantic flailing of his limbs.” However, he pales in comparison to the great Charlie Chaplin, who was the master of the form.
It is often said that classic Hollywood cinema is slow, but this was not the case with Chaplin, who was able to fit jokes in at a lightning-fast pace, with just an exaggerated reaction time being enough to make audiences cry with laughter. It’s fair to say that Chaplin’s style is cartoonish, but it’s important to remember that some of his best work was produced before the advent of the first animated cartoons.
As both an actor and a director, Charlie Chaplin’s work on City Lights is his finest hour. As a result of falling in love with a blind flower girl and pretending to be wealthy, the Little Tramp sets out on a mission to earn enough money for the girl’s rent and perhaps even an operation that could save her sight.
An extremely thin plot serves as the basis for several short comedic sketches, including one about a suicidal millionaire with whistling hiccups and another about a wild night out. As seen in the film’s most famous boxing match segment, the choreography is downright hysterical. It’s like watching an almost-dance of stumbles and deception.
There are a lot of parallels between City Lights and Amélie. Both films have heroes who are supremely nave and idealistic, with secondary personality traits such as shyness, fearlessness, and being almost mute. It’s no surprise that some of Amélie’s quirk was influenced by Chaplin’s Little Tramp’s silent pantomime.
Despite the fact that his monochrome appearance contrasts with Amélie’s intense hues, his love-inspired quest and the great lengths he goes to achieve his goal are clearly in line with Jeunet’s heroine’s interests. In addition, the film’s title alludes to the city in which it was originally intended to take place: Paris, the City of Light.
2. La double vie de Veronique (1991)
His latest film, La Double vie de Véronique, came out between Dekalog and the three-part Three Colors Trilogy, and it’s a departure from his previous efforts, opting for a more tender, almost positive tone. Perhaps the fall of the Berlin Wall had given the Polish director a temporary lift in spirits.
A fantastical drama about Weronika, a young woman from Poland, and Veronique, a young woman from France, who are both dreamlike young women living parallel lives in two different countries. Both characters are played by the stunningly beautiful Irène Jacob, who was later nominated for the Cannes Film Festival’s Best Actress award for her work.
Filmed in an old-fashioned celluloid style with emerald-tinted frames and bursts of crimson, the film is heartbreakingly beautiful, thanks in part to the presence of Jacob. Like Dekalog (The Ten Commandments) and the Three Colors (The French Tricolor),
No overtones of politics or philosophy are immediately apparent in Veronique. Because of Weronika/dual Véronique’s nationality, it’s possible that her sudden death convinced Kielowski that making the career change from Poland to France was the right choice. This is a heartwarming film that will keep you captivated by its meditative quality.
A comparison of La Double vie de Véronique to Amélie cannot be made because it is the film that Jeunet took inspiration from in terms of character, tone, and the use of a blue-free color palette. But the parallels don’t stop there. Jacob’s carefree, life-loving Weronika could be considered a proto-Amélie.
Amélie’s curiosity was no doubt piqued by the treasure hunt that included items like an empty cigar box, a shoestring, and an audio-locational cassette tape that led to a train station coffee shop and a mystifying puppeteer. … Following in the footsteps of the delightful, if admittedly sexist, Betty Blue, Véronique continues the evolution of compelling iconic female title characters in color-conscious French films.
3. In The Mood For Love (2000)
They share a noodle stand, which leads to a series of inter-neighbour borrowing and the development of a friendship between Mr. Chow (played by Tony Leung Chiu Wai) and Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung). It doesn’t take long for them to realize that their spouses are having an extramarital relationship.
Curiosity drives the central couple to attempt to recreate the initial seduction of their spouses by taking on the roles of each other’s paramours. It’s easy to see how In The Mood For Love, directed by Wong Kai-War (Fallen Angels, Chungking Express), could easily devolve into sugary melodramatic fluff.
While the spouses are rarely shown (if ever) on screen, the focus is always on the central couple. Because of the film’s repetition of locations, viewers will become familiar with them, while the film is littered with door frames and reflected surfaces to suggest that, despite the actions of the couple not being scandalous, the community is still keeping an eye on them.
When it comes to plot details in In The Mood For Love, nothing is left to chance, and the smallest details matter a great deal. The majority of the film’s emotional narrative is conveyed through body language and implication, with the exception of the rain shower declaration at the end.
Aside from the fact that she is female, protagonist Mrs. Chow shares many of the same personality traits as Amélie: she is coy, longs for a life that is out of reach, and isn’t afraid to show her childish side by watching martial arts serials and acting in plays.
When it comes to color-coding production design, In The Mood… and Amélie have a lot in common. Mrs. Chow’s exquisite dresses serve as a motif tied to her scene-specific emotions, while the vibrant reds of Apartment 2046 hint at the passion simmering beneath the buttoned-down facade.
4. Millennium Actress (2001)
At the moment, Hollywood is having a hard time emphasizing films with strong female leads. The statistics for these types of films are dismal, but this is largely due to the fact that so few are made. Is it possible that a female lead would have made The Matrix, Avatar, or Inception less successful? Doubtful, regardless of the gender of the main character, an original, thought-provoking idea will succeed.
While Japanese anime can be as misogynistic as Hollywood when it comes to portraying women, Satoshi Kon, before his death in 2010, created a quartet of dazzlingly inventive and original films with flawed, human female protagonists.
Millennium Actress, while incredible in its own right, is a step above the rest because it is less cynical than Perfect Blue and more realistic than Paprika in its outlook. Follows a documentary crew as they interview a reclusive actress about her career in a time-traveling fantasy story
As she tells her story, the boundaries between fiction and reality begin to dissolve. While scenes, motifs, and characters recur throughout her acting career, the lynchpin is her quest to return a key to her long-forgotten beloved. Her work spans genres such as period dramas, sci-fi, and samurai films. The key can be compared to Rosebud from Citizen Kane in that it serves as a reminder of what’s really important in life.
Spirited Away, one of everyone’s first steps into world cinema (along with Amélie and Pan’s Labyrinth) and therefore no one needs to be informed about its quintessence, would have been a better choice as it was also released in 2001 and is a female-fronted magically colorful fantasy.
Millennium Actress emphasizes unconditional love, whereas the central love in Spirited Away is family and friendship-based (“Storge” in Greek Love Theory). Actress holds its own in quirky post-modernisms and fantastical storytelling, despite the more fitting competitor. It’s also as charming as Amélie.
5. My Sassy Girl (2001)
Old Boy and Memories of Murder, two seismically groundbreaking works of South Korean cinema, would follow a few years later, but the country’s breakout film was the endearingly weird romantic comedy My Sassy Girl, which won over Western audiences in 2001.
Following the romantic misadventures of Kyun (Tae-hyun Cha), who, due to a misunderstanding, becomes the boyfriend of an anonymous young lady, the film was based on a blog originally (Ji-hyun Jun). Despite the fact that this girl causes him a lot of anxiety, she also provides an enjoyable diversion from his otherwise monotonous life.
The film, which begins with a cute-meet-on-the-subway in which one of the participants vomits, sets out to deconstruct every Hollywood rom-com convention it comes across. Instead of Kyun-woo being the dominant and aggressive male figure, the focus shifts to The Girl as the one being pursued. To use a classic example from The Princess Bride, her preferred threat is “Wanna die?” Her violent question has a secretly tender-hearted connotation.
A romantic comedy, My Sassy Girl never loses sight of its primary characteristic – the warmth of its beating heart – even when it’s hilarious and delightfully odd. The American remake from 2008 is completely pointless and should be avoided at all costs.
As a strong female character who doesn’t want to be just the source of happiness for others, The Girl has her own ambitions (to become a screenwriter) and, like Amélie, imagines the day of her own funeral even though she isn’t the main character.
As a result of the softcore sci-fi in My Sassy Girl and the use of Pachelbel’s Canon in D as the film’s love theme, the film has an air of magic realism that permeates the entire experience of watching Amélie.