Amélie ★★★★★

I'd sung the praises of Amélie for quite awhile, so when I found myself a stone's throw away from a friend's house on Sunday afternoon and discovered a used DVD of it cheap at Half Price Books, I decided it was time for her to see it. (It was much easier than transporting my Blu-ray player to her house!)

She'd never seen any foreign language film, so I was a bit eager to see how she would react. It's always daunting to share with someone a film you love dearly. What if they don't respond the same way? Does it show an incompatibility between the two of you? Is the other person rejecting you in some way? I suspect normal people don't fret such things, but they terrify me.

I confess that even though I may make a big deal out of discussing my favorite films, I jealously guard against sharing them with others. If they see them on their own, so be it, but I admit that I sometimes try to dissuade specific people from watching something they've heard me talk about simply because I fear their reaction to it.

The previous weekend, though, she responded well to Casablanca, which was only the second ever black and white film she could recall watching. That gave me confidence that she would respond well to Amélie. She chuckled some, but mostly I could see she was trying to focus on the film. She later shared that she found it difficult to keep up with both the screen imagery and the subtitles, often missing part of one because she'd been caught up in the other. I assured her that was fine, and that it was normal with subtitled films - especially when first beginning to explore them.

Her air conditioning was malfunctioning this weekend, so she was overheated and drained by the time we started to watch the movie. She nodded off about 3/4 into it, which was entirely understandable given the circumstances! She assured me she did enjoy what she saw, though, and that she was eager to go back to it when she felt more alert.

Even without having seen the big payoff finale, though, she was able to appreciate that the spirit of the film is a celebration of how we can do little things that affect others. It's a common enough idea, but Adurey Toutou as Amélie is so adorable and the film is so charming that it takes the oft-discussed concept and makes it feel special again.

With my friend having fallen asleep before the end, I can't say that it was a resounding success, but she expressed enough interest and positive reaction to it that I feel okay having risked showing her a film so dear to me. That was really my only hope with this viewing, so I'm calling it a win.

Amélie Re-ranked on My Flickchart (#17/1562)

Amélie > The Truman Show --> #17
I found The Truman Show novel, but I fell in love with Amélie.

Amélie > Gomorrah --> #17
By happenstance, the two films I watched last! Both are engaging and captivating from start to finish in their own (very different) ways. The charm of Amélie trumps the grit of Gomorrah, though.

Amélie > Titanic --> #17
I was awed by the depiction of the Titanic and her sinking, but "meh" about the fictitious love story used to tell it. Meanwhile, I adore everything about Amélie. It gets the nod.

Amélie > The Jungle Book (1967) --> #17
Though The Jungle Book is one of Disney's finer works and I do enjoy it, it doesn't hold my heart the way that Amélie does.

Amélie > The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) --> #17
The remake of The Thomas Crown Affair is pure, slick fun and a great time, but Amélie made me smile and feel good during a year of severe depression. That's pretty special.

Amélie > The Sting --> #17
This one is tough. The Sting is brilliant and one of the few plot twist-heavy films that's actually still rewarding in repeat viewings, but man...I am completely in love with Amélie...!

Amélie > From Russia with Love --> #12
558 days ago, I said I couldn't pick Amélie over the best Bond movie of all time (which is still From Russia with Love). This time, though, I find myself leaning toward Amélie over 007. I HATE YOU, FLICKCHART.

Amélie < Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid --> #12
UGH. This is like choosing between the woman you're in love with, or your best buddies. I love both films dearly, and whatever I pick today may not be what I pick tomorrow.

Amélie > Dumbo --> #9
Dumbo has more power to make me want to cry than any other film I've ever seen, where I think Amélie has the same power to make me smile. I respect the power to make me sad, but I enjoy smiling.

Amélie > Jurassic Park --> #8
If I was someone who believed his Flickchart would ever be "right", I'd probably just quit over this. Subscribing instead to the idea that my choices reflect only my most recent feelings, I'm okay picking Amélie over Jurassic Park this time.

Amélie > E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial --> #7
I think I've run out of things to say about either of these two films by now. Like pretty much any match formed from my Top 20, I could flip-flop on any given day. This time, the nod goes to Amélie.

Amélie was re-ranked on my Flickchart to #7/1562