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Amelie (2001)

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Stars: Andre Dussollier, Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Serge Merlin

We’ll be the first to admit that Amélie is not a film suited to everyone’s taste. With its whimsical style and cute-as-a-button leading lady (Audrey Tatou), it’s a Disneyfied version of life in Paris’ Montmartre neighborhood. One where young Amélie works as a waitress on a mission to make life happier for those around her, concocting a number of elaborate schemes in order to manipulate joy from the strangers who surround her. Until she eventually realizes that it is she who is need of a personal pick-me-up.

Though dismissed by some for being too cutesy (it was famously rejected from screening at Cannes when a programmer described it as being “uninteresting”), the film’s fanciful depiction of The City of Light conjured up more than $30 million at the box office, making it the most successful French film to hit American shores.

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