One of most notable features of the film Amelie is the eye catching filming style of the movie. It has a very whimsical feel that portrays Paris as a beautiful magical place. The director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, digitally enhanced Paris in the making of the film. This has prompted quite a controversy and there is a clear division between receptions of the film. Some people love the filming style and Jeunet’s version of Paris whereas others declare that the filming style takes away everything that makes Paris, Paris.
The lovers of the film compliment the way Amelie entrances you and how it make you want to go to the city and discover all its charms. They respect Jeunet’s use of French caricatures and clichés even though they may wish for a little less “Frenchness” in Amelie. Critics of the film on the other hand very much disliked the caricature version of France and Paris. They saw how Jeunet erased the dirt, crime, graffiti, and social unrest around Paris and felt that he had cleaned Paris of its culture. There are no traces of an influence from the outside world as Jeunet went as far as to make sure any and all advertisements are French. The critics seem to wish for a more realistic view of Paris so that they could see the city they love on screen.
Despite the opposite reactions to the CGI quality of Paris in Amelie, most people can agree that they love how the film is not as much about telling you a story as it is taking your hand and bringing you along for a ride, to nowhere in particular. The filming style and viewpoints in the film have you take on the role of observer. Jeunet accomplished this by having the camera stand at a distance from the action so its almost as if we are seeing everything play on a stage. He even used this distance to make us feel as though we are listening into conversations that we should not be privy to, such as when Amelie suggests to Georgette that Joseph likes her. It all adds to the mystery of the film. Another technique that Jeunet used to up the dramatic feel of Amelie when he wanted you to get close to the action, was to use wide-angle lenses. He put the characters closer to the camera and also had the camera not quite at eye level so that you are looking slightly up or down. It starts to distort facial features, which emphasizes his choice of actors with unique features. His use of wide-angle lenses also keeps the background in focus, so you can see the full beauty of his perfect Paris.