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Few foreign films garner mainstream success in the United States. In fact, distribution had become so hard to obtain that some of the smaller foreign studios practically gave up on theatrical release and simply ran films in festivals and on video. Since Crouching Tiger , Hidden Dragon, the American public seems to have finally accepted foreign language films into our megaplexes and taken the risk of missing our mouths as we juggle popcorn and subtitles.
In November of 2001, after a historical run in France (the biggest French box office gross in a while, four European Film Awards, including best European film) Jean Pierre Jeunet’s Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amelie Poulain a.k.a. Amelie has had much of the same effect in the U.S.
There is a simple reason why Amelie has done so well financially and attracted so much critical attention. It’s good. It’s damn good, and this is no surprise to film lovers who have experienced director Jeunet’s pervious works such as the hilariously dark Delicatessen, the enthralling City of Lost Children, or even his crack at Hollywood blockbusters with Alien Resurrection. Jeunet has forged a name for himself that is synonymous with quirky well-written scripts and visually stunning rides into the heart of the silver screen.
Amelie benefits not only from Jeunet; it is a true collaborative effort that showcases the talents of real artists. Cinematographer Bruno Delbonel has worked many of Jeunet’s films and on this one gives beautiful renditions in crisp sepias and sparkling greens that mystify an already magical Paris.
The main character: Audrey Tautou, a 22-year-old newcomer who has exploded onto the scene with her big eyes and heart-melting smile. With only a handful of roles to her filmography, Tautou has captivated audiences worldwide and has become one of the industries most sought after starlets. It has been said and said again that she stole the movie, but I would have to say that she had a considerably easy role to play.
Mathieu Kassovitz, in his early 30’s now, is quite a big name in France. Winning the Palm D’or at Cannes for best director at age 28 with his second film Hate, Kassovitz is pretty much a sure thing when it comes to acting, writing or directing. But still, his charm will surprise you every time and he carries the role of Nino with just enough naivet

February 5, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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