Best French Films Home Page

Best French Films Ever.
Top rated French Movies: popular, classic, famous "must watch" Cinema Fançais 20.

20. Amélie
Amelie (UK), The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain (USA)
also Amelie from Montmartre, also Amelie of Montmartre
Die Fabelhafte Welt der Amelie (Germany)

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Amélie (Audrey Tautou) is a waitress in a Montmartre café. She is shy and oddly elf-like.

She has had a miserable childhood, growing up starved of affection. Her father, a doctor, never hugs or kisses her. Her mother dies when she is hit by a suicide who has jumped off the top of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

The death of Princess Diana changes her life. The news causes Amelie to drop a bottle top, which rather improbably losens a tile in the wall of her apartment. She discovers an old box containing the treasures of a little boy, hidden there long ago.

She decides to track down the little boy who hid the box, now a grown man, and return his hidden treasures to him. The return is a great success.

Amelie has discovered her life's work: She wants to make people happy by other strange strategems. She will henceforth devote herself to devising plots to make people happy. This here mission, her role in life

She devises other acts of kindness: for example painting word-pictures for a blind man, and pretending to find old love letters from a dead husband to his widow. She enriches the lives of all around her with her ellfin magic.

Amélie is looking for love.. She meets Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) a mysterious Photomaton-image collector, and takes a liking to him.

This film is a lighthearted joy of a movie. After you've seen it you will find yourself thinking about it days aftwards, smiling at Amélie kindlyl mischiefs. It is full of comic excursions. For example when Amelie stands on the terrace at Montmartre she wonders how many people in Paris are having orgasms at that moment. And hey presto! We see them, all 15 of them, in a quick succession of climaxes.

The movie is set in Paris - not the real Paris, but the unrealistic version of Paris beloved of tourists and film directors, clean, bright, orderly and free of all unpleasantness.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet specialises in films of astonishing visual invention like this. Others on this site include Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children.

A clever, unconventional, light-hearted comedy - another triumph for Jeunet.



Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Year: 2001
Runtime: 122 min, France:129 min
France:185 min (director's cut)
Country: France & Germany
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Writing credits:
Guillaume Laurant story
Jean-Pierre Jeunet scenario
Guillaume Laurant (screenplay)
Produced by Alain Terzian
Helmut Breuer — co-producer
Jean-Marc Deschamps — producer
Arne Meerkamp van Embden — producer: Germany
Claudie Ossard — executive producer
Claudie Ossard — producer
Original Music: Yann Tiersen
Non-Original Music
Samuel Barber (from "Adagio for Strings")
Georges Delerue (from "Jules et Jim")
Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel
Colour: Black and White / Duboicolor
Sound Mix: DTS / Dolby Digital

Audrey Tautou — Amélie Poulain
Mathieu Kassovitz — Nino Quincampoix
Rufus — Raphaël Poulain
Lorella Cravotta — Amandine Poulain
Serge Merlin — Raymond Dufayel
Jamel Debbouze — Lucien
Clotilde Mollet — Gina
Claire Maurier — Suzanne
Isabelle Nanty — Georgette
Dominique Pinon — Joseph
Artus de Penguern — Hipolito
Yolande Moreau — Madeleine Wallace
Urbain Cancelier — Collignon
Maurice Bénichou — Dominique Bretodeau
Michel Robin — Mr. Collignon
Andrée Damant — Mrs. Collignon
Claude Perron — Eva
Armelle — Philomène
Ticky Holgado — Man in photo (who describes Amelie to Nino)
Kevin Fernandes — Bretodeau as a Child
Flora Guiet — Amélie (6 Years Old)
Amaury Babault — Nino (As a Child)
André Dussollier — Narrator/Récitant (voice)
Eugène Berthier — Eugène Koler
Marion Pressburger — Credits Helper
Charles-Roger Bour — The Urinal Man
Luc Palun — Amandine's Grocer
Fabienne Chaudat — Woman in Coma
Dominique Bettenfeld — The Screaming Neighbor
Jacques Viala — The Customer Who Humiliates His Friend
Fabien Béhar — The Humiliated Customer
Jonathan Joss — The Humiliated Customer's Son
Jean-Pierre Becker — The Bum
Jean Darie — The Blind Man
Thierry Gibault — The Endive Client
François Bercovici — His Buddy
Franck Monier — Dominique Bredoteau Kid
Guillaume Viry — The Vagrant
Valérie Zarrouk — Dominique Bredoteau Woman
Marie-Laure Descoureaux — The Dead Man's Concierge
Sophie Tellier — Aunt Josette
Gérald Weingand — The Teacher
François Viaur — The Bar Owner
Paule Daré — His Employee
Marc Amyot — The Stranger
Myriam Labbé — The Tobacco Buyer
Jean Rupert — Nasal operation man
Frankie Pain — The Newsstand Woman
Julianna Kovacs — Grocer's Client
Philippe Paimblanc — Train Ticket Taker
Mady Malroux — One of the Twins
Monette Malroux — One of the Twins
Robert Gendreu — Cafe Patron
Valériane de Villeneuve — The Laughing Woman
Isis Peyrade — Samantha
Raymonde Heudeline — Phantom Train Customer
Christiane Bopp — Woman by the Merry-Go-Round
Thierry Arfeuillères — Statue Man
Jerry Lucas — The Sacré-Coeur Boy
Patrick Paroux — The Street Prompter
François Aubineau — The Concierge's Postman
Philippe Beautier — Poulain's Postman
Karine Asure — Pretty Girl at Appointment
Régis Iacono — Félix L'Herbier
Franck-Olivier Bonnet — Palace Video (voice)
Alain Floret — The Concierge's Husband (voice)
Jean-Pol Brissart — The Postman (voice)
Frédéric Mitterrand — Himself
Manoush — Nymphomaniac woman
Jacques Thébault — Voice-Over (voice)
Rudy Galindo — Himself (archive footage)
Sam 'Peg Leg' Jackson — Himself (archive footage)
Jean-Michel Larqué — Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Thierry Roland — Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Sister Rosetta Tharpe — Herself (archive footage)

The titles (in the US) of the best French films, sorted by title

  Title Year
8 Women2001
Music, Comedy, Crime, Mystery
François Ozon
A Heart in Winter1992
Romance, Drama, Music
Claude Sautet
Beauty and The Beast1946
Fantasy Drama, Romance
Jean Cocteau
Belle de Jour1967
Erotic Drama
Luis Buñuel
Betty Blue1986
Romace, Drama
Jean-Jacques Beineix
Birds Of A Feather1978
Edouard Molinaro
Bitter Moon1992
Sado-masochistic Erotic Drama
Roman Polanski
Drama, Romance
Jean-Luc Godard
Children of Paradise1945
Drama, Romance
Marcel Carne
10 Cyrano de Bergerac1990
Romance, Drama
Jean-Paul Rappeneau
11 Delicatessen1991
Sci-Fi Comedy
Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
12 Diva1981
Action Thriller, Drama
Jean-Jacques Beineix
13 French Twist1995
Josiane Balasko
14 Hidden2005
Michael Haneke
15 Hiroshima, Mon Amour1959
Romance, Drama
Alain Resnais
16 Jean de Florette1986
Drama, Modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
17 Jesus of Montreal1989
Denys Arcand
18 Jules et Jim1961
Romance, Drama
François Truffaut
19 La Controverse de Valladolid1992
History (16thC), Drama
Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe
20 La Femme Nikita1990
Crime, Thriller, Romance, Drama
Luc Besson
21 Manon of the Spring1986
Drama, Romance, modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
22 Monsieur Hire1989
Crime Thriller, Romance, Drama
Patrice Leconte
23 My Life in Pink1997
Comedy Drama
Alain Berliner
24 One Swallow Brought Spring2001
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Christian Carion
25 Queen Margot1994
History (16thC) Drama, Biography, History, Romance
Patrice Chéreau
26 Ridicule1996
History (18thC) Drama
Patrice Leconte
27 Swimming Pool2003
Psychological Thriller, Mystery Drama
François Ozon
28 The 400 Blows1959
Crime Drama
François Truffaut
29 The Big Blue1988
Drama, Romance
Luc Besson
30 The City of Lost Children1995
Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro
31 The Closet2001
Comedy Drama
Francis Veber
32 The Discrete Charm of the Bougoisie1972
Surreal Black Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Luis Buñuel
33 The Dominici Affair1973
Crime Drama Mystery
Claude Bernard-Aubert
34 The Double Life of Veronique1991
Music, Fantasy, Romance, Psychological Drama
Krzysztof Kieslowski
35 The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain2001
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
36 The Girl On The Bridge1999
Comedy, Romance, Fantasy, Drama
Patrice Leconte
37 The Hate1995
Crime, Drama
Mathieu Kassovitz
38 The Last Metro1980
Romance, History (WW2) Drama
François Truffaut
39 The Piano Teacher2001
Drama, Music
Michael Haneke
40 The Reader1988
Mildly Erotic Comedy Fantasy
Michel Deville
41 The Return of Martin Guerre1982
History (16thC) Drama, Biography, Crime, Mystery,
Daniel Vigne
42 The Visitors1993
Fantasy, Comedy
Jean-Marie Poiré
43 Three Colors: Blue1993
Drama, Music, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski
44 Three Colors: Red1994
Drama, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski
45 Three Colors: White1994
Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski

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