The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Miramax - 2001
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 122 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin
Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Music by: Yann Tiersen
Written by: Guillaume Laurant & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 19, 2011
"One person can change your life forever"
At a tiny Parisian café, the adorable yet painfully shy Amélie (Tautou) accidentally discovers a gift for helping others. Soon she is spending her days as a Cupid, guardian angel and all-around do-gooder. But when Amélie bumps into a handsome stranger, will she find the courage to become the star of her very own story?
Ameile is one of those films that I always meant to see but simply never got around to. When I saw that it was coming to Blu-ray I requested it for review. This is a wonderfully charming film about a young woman that grew up isolated from other children. After the premature death of her mother, her non-nurturing father's withdraws, which leads Amelie to develop an unusually active imagination to ward away the feelings of loneliness. At the age of twenty-three, she works as a waitress at a small café that is staffed and frequented by a collection of eccentric patrons. Not one for romantic entanglements she finds contentment in simple pleasures and letting her imagination run free. After accidentally discovering the hidden treasure of a little boy that lived in her apartment years ago she decides to locate him and return it to him. She does so anonymously and from a place where she can observe his reaction upon its discovery. Seeing his blissful/emotional reaction motivates Amelie to help others around her who she deems are in need. She becomes a secret matchmaker and guardian angel, executing complex but hidden schemes that impact the lives of those around her with subtle, arm's-length manipulation. During the process Amelie's own life comes under scrutiny and she is forced to examine the elements of her past which leads to the discovery of romance.
I found the storybook style narrative and whimsically derived nature of its elements to be supremely rewarding and just plain lots of fun. Amelie is a simple film that has a directness that tugs at the funny bone as it addresses a few complex social/familial issues. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel make careful use of stimulating visuals to help draw us into the thoughts/fantasies of Amelie. Combine that with the marvelous performance of Audrey Tautou in the title role and you have an offbeat and highly rewarding film that makes for pitch perfect entertainment.
The rating is for sexual content.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Amelie comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 36 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.3 Mbps.
Amelie is a beautifully crafted visual experience that appears faithfully rendered in this excellent video presentation that boasts plenty of high level detail, strong contrast, deeply saturated colors, and lucid three dimensional acuity. Blacks are punchy and appear rich when onscreen with mixed content. Perspective in low lighting and darkened sequences is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable dimension. The gorgeous cinematography and intriguing use of color is visually engaging as images are dynamic, boldly colorful, clearly drawn, and perfectly suited for the source material. The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range and detail rich clarity that enables the detection of subtle background sounds within the acoustic environment created by the surround mix. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel which clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and tonal balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren't often or intense but the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to appropriately convey the low level bass associated with the film's recorded elements.
** CIH users should note that the subtitles appear within the picture area.**
- Audio commentary with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
- The look of Amelie - 12 minute featurette
- Fantasies of Audrey Tautou - Outtakes (2 minutes)
- Screen tests - 3 segments
- Q&A with director Jean-Pieerre Jeunet - 24 minutes recorded on January 9/10th 2002
- Q&A with director and cast - 6 minutes
- Storyboard to screen comparisons
- An intimate discussion with Jean-Pierre Jeunet - 21 minutes
- Home movies inside the making of Amelie - 12 minutes
- Theatrical trailer
- The Amelie scrapbook - Behind the scenes, Poster concept art, Storyboards, The garden gnome's travels
Amelie is a wonderfully charming and whimsical comedy that is told via a rewardingly offbeat and imaginative narrative that is made all the better by creative direction, beautiful cinematography and a pitch perfect performance by Audrey Tautou in the lead role. It makes it debut on Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate featuring a gorgeous high definition video transfer, crystal clear lossless sound quality and a decent assortment of bonus material that compliments the film. This is my first experience with Amelie but it won't be my last. Highly recommended.
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