Growing up with a coldly neurotic mother and a painfully reserved father, imaginative little Amelie (Tautou) learns to retreat into her rich inner life. She grows into a beautiful but shy woman who prefers to observe the relationships of others rather than initiate one herself. Everything changes when she discovers an old tin box of toys that clearly belonged to a little boy; after returning them to their emotional owner, now a grandfather, she is inspired to create more magical moments like these through small but meaningful acts. What Amélie does not realize is that her generous, well-intentioned meddling could lead her to the love of her life.
Why we love it
This quirky, wistful, and thoroughly winning film made a huge splash among U.S. audiences on release, scoring five Academy Award nominations and launching Audrey Tautou to international stardom. Director Jeunet's meticulous, eye-popping, color-drenched style and Yann Tiersen's circus-like soundtrack perfectly match this playful and warmhearted story, and Tautou, every inch the gamine, charms in the title role. A loopy, affecting tale of fate, chance, and love, "Amélie" is worth falling for.