Young Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) works in a Paris café, lives alone and helps people, surreptitiously. Whether it's secretly returning the childhood treasures of a middle aged man, to matchmaking for the lovelorn, Amélie gives fate a helping hand. When Nino (Matthieu Kassovitz) enters her world, her life takes a new and exciting turn.

Amelie will entrance everyone.

Amelie Poulain lives in Montmartre. She's an only child whose mother died young and whose father was convinced she was suffering from a heart ailment; so she never went to school and as a result lived a lonely life filled with fantasies. Now she works as a waitress in an old-style cafe and her life is changed forever on the day Princess Di is killed – when she discovers, hidden behind her bathroom wall, a box left there by a boy who once lived in the house. Amelie decides to try to track down the boy, now a man, and return his childhood toys. In her sweetly optimistic way she determines to help the people around her, to change their lives, while she herself maintains a solitary life...

Amelie or, to translate the original French title, The Fabulous Destiny Of Amelie Poulain, is both very original and rather old-fashioned. It's the most benign film to date from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the gifted visual stylist who created some very dark films like Delicatessen, City Of Lost Children and his Hollywood thriller, Alien Resurrection. With a little help from digital enhancing, Jeunet recreates a Paris as it might once have been, without really going back into the past. He also creates a wonderful array of characters who need Amelie's encouragement, played by a gallery of fine actors, including Jeunet regular Dominique Pinon, as a lovesick patron of the cafe, Rufus, as Amelie's father and Matthieu Kassovitz, as a young man obsessed with collecting photos left behind at automatic booths.

Amelie was rejected by the Cannes film festival this year, but it was a mega-success in France, though some writers have attacked it for its Mary Poppins-ish depiction of a Paris where no people of colour are to be seen and old-fashioned attitudes reign. But with the talented Audrey Tautou in the leading role, Amelie is sheer delight, and will entrance everyone who sees it.



Watch 'Amelie'

Monday 27 September, 9:30pm on SBS World Movies / Streaming after at SBS On Demand

France, 2001
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Language: French
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Dominique Pinon, Yolande Moreau

Dinner and a Movie: Amelie
Movies and meals are two of the things we do best at SBS, so it's only natural that we combine the two, and match delicious recipes with soul-nourishing films.

TV Movie Guide: 27 September - 3 October
When it comes to movies, there's something for everybody on SBS, SBS VICELAND, NITV and SBS On Demand. Find out what's screening where and when.
SBS World Movies Weekly Highlights: 27 September - 3 October
Your guide to some of the stories from around the world, screening on Australia's own HD SBS World Movies channel (Digital channel 32).
Discover the various vampires currently roaming SBS
Opera capes and widow’s peaks are out, seductive smiles and bloody allegories are in, with the vampires of SBS promising to put a sharp-toothed smile on your face.
What to watch at this year’s Queer Screen Film Festival
With the ninth Queer Screen Film Festival streaming to your screens at home, we’ve pulled together a guide on what to see based on how you feel.
SBS On Demand: Scandinavian Cinema Collection
From Oscar-winning dramas to Nazi zombies in Norway. SBS On Demand is showcasing the best of modern Nordic film with the Scandinavian Cinema Collection.
Ten of the best: celebrating a decade of the Antenna Documentary Film Festival
Festival director David Rokach shares some of his festival favourites from across the years. Watch them all at SBS On Demand.
Stream a movie a day in September on SBS On Demand
It's movie night every night this September at SBS On Demand, with some of the best cinema from around the world streaming free.
Movies Leaving SBS On Demand: September
Don't miss your chance to watch these standout feature films leaving SBS On Demand throughout September 2021.