Monday, May 25, 2009

somebody spoke and i went into a dream

One of my most favorite films is "Amélie," or as the French call it "Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain." Starring Audrey Tautou as the title character, the film is a whimsical and quirky look at a quiet Montmartre waitress who decides that in order to make herself happy she needs to help others find their own happiness.
Amelie is a shy girl who has grown up isolated from others; her father mistakenly believes that she suffers from a heart defect and therefore kept her from other children and had his wife Amandine see to her education. Amelie's mother is accidentally killed when someone leaped from atop the Notre Dame Cathedral. After her mother's death, Amelie's father dedicates himself to building a garden shrine in Amandine's memory, leaving the young Amelie to amuse herself. As a young woman, Amelie becomes a waitress with a wild imagination in a Montmartre cafe and grows to enjoy simple pleasures in life such as: cracking crème brûlée with a teaspoon, skipping stones across St. Martin's Canal, dipping her hand into sacks of grain, and trying to guess how many couples in Paris are having an orgasm at any particular moment. One night in her Paris apartment, Amelie finds a treasure hidden behind a bathroom tile belonging to the apartment's former dweller who lived there during the 1950s. After tracking the man down and returning the treasure to him and delighting in his reaction, Amelie decides to devote her life to helping the people around her. She helps a lonely painter who paints and repaints "Luncheon of the Boating Party" and has very brittle bones, a hypochondriac, a man that stalks a former girlfriend, a failed writer, a blind man, and her father, who desires to see the world but is unable to, by sending his garden gnome around the world. Despite how happy helping other people makes her, Amelie realizes that she has ignored her own life and is missing out on her own chance for love.