Austen City Limits

Amélie takes Jane Austen's best-loved heroine to the edge

Pretty in synch: The beguiling Audrey Tautou plays a French version of Emma: in synch with strangers, but not quite with herself.
Miramax Zoë
Pretty in synch: The beguiling Audrey Tautou plays a French version of Emma: in synch with strangers, but not quite with herself.

Their hard-won connection (don't even try to imagine the complications) at last bathes Amélie in the kind of warmth and fellow-feeling Jeunet rarely indulged in his darker collaborations with Caro. In the end, the film is downright touching, but that in no way compromises the purity of Jeunet's vision, nor does it minimize the satisfying complexities of his narrative. Amélie is not a film for everyone, but if you're in the mood for a little sensory overload, some spirited intellectual gymnastics and an introduction to the most intriguing new actress Europe has produced in years, get in line with the rest of the thrill-seekers.

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