La Véritable Histoire d'Amélie Poulain
March 20, 2023 3:52 PM   Subscribe

La Véritable Histoire d'Amélie Poulain: Now, just over 20 years since its release, its writer and director Jean-Pierre Jeunet provides an official new director's cut that reveals Amélie's true identity as a KGB agent.
posted by cubby (19 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't seen this movie in ages but my goodness is Audrey Tautou absolutely a gorgeous human being.

Of course she turns out to be a spy for those damn Soviet commies.
posted by alex_skazat at 4:36 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]

That is so nicely done, in Jeunet's full mad, inspired spirit.
posted by doctornemo at 4:48 PM on March 20

No wonder she knows how many people were having sex!
posted by terrapin at 5:32 PM on March 20 [5 favorites]

Fantastic subtitlement!
posted by nickzoic at 5:35 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]

This kind of makes me like Amélie more. I kind of want to rewatch it and imagine her as a KGB spy.

I have a complicated relationship with this movie. I saw it in theaters when it came out and I think everyone around me was expecting I'd love it because I was a 21-year-old English major who listened to a lot of Belle & Sebastian. And so I think I didn't like it because everyone thought I should. But I also didn't really like it all that much.

It also just felt like "This is a quirky, precious French movie because all French movies are quirky and precious" and I had seen enough French movies before to be put off by that.

Having watched it again recently (in the past two years anyway), I understand that's absolutely part of Jeunet's motivation with this. It's not a full-on parody of what people (in other words, Americans) think French movies are, but he's playing with those conventions. I think it's a very sincere movie in a lot of ways, but the people who are in on the joke get it and the people who are not just are like "aw, cute quirky French movie."

I still did not love it, though.

Tautou is so good in it. It's worth watching it for her.

(I am not trying to take anything away from people who love this movie. I'm glad you do! I was happy to watch it again and appreciate it for what it is even if it's still not for me.)
posted by edencosmic at 7:22 PM on March 20 [6 favorites]

My favourite part remains the horse with the peloton. So much of that movie is magic, but it’s the horse which punctures into the eternal.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:57 PM on March 20 [3 favorites]

I remember seeing it in a Paris movie theater when it came out, and crying with joy as the credits rolled, which was very uncharacteristic for my usually Spock-like demeanor: I'm French, and having lived abroad most of my life, not especially patriotic, but nevertheless:

This was the first movie I saw that nailed a truly post-modernist take on French life, and I remember feeling so proud that a French filmmaker managed to do that. I've always rolled my eyes at the trite French stereotypes in movies. But Amelie captures all these tiny details about French culture that only someone who lived there would pick up, these "desuet", old-fashioned little touches, with a tone of voice that is at once arch and sarcastic, but at the same time unabashedly kind and - gasp - earnest. Even the voiceover is spot on, both mocking and loving at the same time.

There's this expression " a love letter to movies" that usually applies to Hollywood. This was the first time I felt it for the culture I come from, warts and all, from its kitschiest (garden gnomes, accordions) to its most sublime (like the aha! experience at the photobooth, or Amelie's heart exploding with joy on a moped ride). It is such a rare and wonderful experience for a non-Hollywood film.

Of course, now it turns out it was a Soviet plot all along! Mille millions de mille sabords!

At least Audrey Tautou is as luminously beautiful as ever....
posted by Bigbootay. Tay! Tay! Blam! Aargh... at 8:35 PM on March 20 [30 favorites]

Trying hard is worth it.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:11 AM on March 21

Glad to see a subtitled version - the first version of this I came across didn't have subtitles. I know enough French to get a good bit of it but I suspect some of the jokes were going over my head.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:07 AM on March 21

This is delightful. I haven't seen the movie since it came out. Due for a re-watch.

Most of Wes Anderson's career has happened since Amélie came out, and watching this short made me realize that he and Jeunet must be dipping into the same well.
posted by adamrice at 7:26 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]

T hy at was really fun, thanks!
posted by Marky at 7:58 AM on March 21

Not a fan.
Who was it that said "If you life long enough you'll see everything you love sullied and dragged through the mud"?
posted by Rash at 10:59 AM on March 21

This movie is a long time favorite of mine. It captures the rich internal life of introverts so well.

Jeunet married an American and spends a good amount of time in Northern California. I was lucky enough to attend a screening of Amelie in Marin with a director’s Q&A afterwards; Jeunet apparently brought one of his personal prints of the film just for the occasion.
posted by Eikonaut at 11:31 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]

Amélie is Doug Bait. You post something about this film, I will consume it. They release a new Blu-Ray, I will buy it. I absolutely loved this film. It has been directly responsible for a full quarter of my fancy dessert orders since it's debut. I still cannot touch a Crème brûlée without the cracking it with a teaspoon scene playing in my head
posted by DigDoug at 12:01 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]

My favourite part remains the horse with the peloton. So much of that movie is magic, but it’s the horse which punctures into the eternal.

Okay nobody told me there was a horse in this.
posted by grobstein at 11:52 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]

si boooooon
posted by lokta at 12:56 PM on March 22

This is fine brain candy.

Rewatching the trailer reminded me that this is his next film after Alien: Resurrection.

Could not be constrained by the strictures of a franchise!

I couldn't recall if the Lady Di joke at the end was too soon or poorly aged. (It was the former, chronologically, but not judgmentally.)
posted by The genius who rejected Anno's budget proposal. at 5:30 PM on March 25

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