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Amelie (2001)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (in English) Rating:7.7/10 (18 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Brian Thibodeau on May 3rd, 2004:Find all reviews by Brian Thibodeau
Jean-Pierre Jeunet, whose love for cinema and whose awareness of the masturbatory nature of DVD commentary tracks are very much in evidence on this track does an interesting take on the "this is my favourite scene" chestnut by claiming several absolute favourties during his commentary to the wonderful Amelie. At first, you think he's contradicting himself, until about the fourth time when you realize he's winking at you by tweaking a popular commentary conceit. Ah, da Fronsh. Dey are so clevharr (please note my last name; I'm being silly). It's clear the man has a genuine affection for the cinema from this track, and is quite talkative, varied, and open about many of the techniques he used to achieve the film's digitally-enhanced look. A very insightful commentary to a very charming film, nicely complemented by the AFI interview also included in the set.
Reviewed by TommyT on May 21st, 2007:Find all reviews by TommyT
Jeunet's a lot of fun to listen to! Quite a lot about the film that I wouldn't have known if I hadn't listened to his track. I'd still like to know where that lock is on the canal when Amelie is skipping stones...
Reviewed by badge on January 24th, 2010:Find all reviews by badge
This has got to be one of the most amusing solo commentaries I've ever heard. Maybe it's Jeunet's thick accent that does it (he begins by saying that his English is not so good - don't believe it, he's very articulate). It's great to listen to a commentary that is very scene specific - Jeunet finds something to say about every setup, whether it's about the acting, the camerawork, the inspiration, etc. And the guy is so in love with everything - "I love this sound effect"; "I love this train station"; "I love girls in big shoes" - that you can't help but smile. The spirit of the commentary is a perfect echo of the film itself - it feels like the director is sitting a table chatting away conversationally, but with plenty of interesting stuff to say.
Commentary 2: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (in French) Rating:7.7/10 (6 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on February 19th, 2020:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
Amelie is one of my all-time top 5 films and this French commentary is certainly one of the best. Jeunet is much more thorough than on the above track (also a great track, but Jeunet is naturally more fluid here) After going to Hollywood to direct, he was glad to be back in France working with friends again, and points out his frequent collaborators from Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children. He is very candid about bits he does not like in the film and what he wishes he had fixed or changed prior to release. He dispels rumors that he is difficult, just that he prefers to prepare completely before filming and gets irked when something comes up, forcing production to change unexpectedly. Othewise, he is open-minded and willing to make changes. He notes that certain happy accidents and chances occurred during the development of the film that led him to working with various people. He does not believe that anything happens by chance. As the film progresses, Jeunet reveals what is autobiographical or based on other inspirations, such as true stories that happened to him or others. Some of Amelie was filmed in Germany! At a studio in Cologne. For the exteriors, they spent much time scouting in and around Paris to find the exact shots they wanted, even if only for a few seconds of screen time. Much of the skies were enhanced or improved by special effects. Jeunet admits that for the train station scenes, they combined elements from both Gare du Nord and Gare de L-est. He mentions how the cafe was reluctant to let him film but it and the fruit vendor shop benefitted afterwards from tourist and fan business, so in the end Montmartre was very proud to be part of Amelie. Yann Tiersen recorded the exceptional score very quickly, in a matter of weeks. Jeunet bookends the commentary with the hope that his revelations do not ruin the film. Not at all, they were infinitely enriching. 10 of 10.