Hipolito, Suzanne and Gina Lucien, Collignon and Amelie
Creative Commons, Amelie. Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Miramax, 2001.Author’s Screenshot.
The film Amelie is charming. The French humor, sometimes is vulgar and often references sex. I would have liked to see the writer in the café be a stronger character. The writer in the story, Hipolito, did not have much input that the past writers and artists had in cafe society. It was a good mix of the Paris social background. The owner of the Cafe des Deux Moulins, Suzanne, is a former bareback rider with a limp because her lover was careless, but she is the worldly wise person. The co-workers of Amelie, in the café are all women: Georgette, a hypochondriac tobacconist and Gina, a waitress-healer who cracks bones. Amelie, was home-schooled because of a defective heart, which was untrue. Her neurotic parents, an Army doctor and a teacher, would be considered Paris middle class and lived in the country, not in central Paris. Her prospective boyfriend, Nino, works in a sex shop near La Pigalle, is as eccentric as Amelie. He collects passport photos from the Metro and creates a scrapbook. Amelie had an used Instamatic camera as a girl. She believed she caused catastrophes with her pictures. They both are eccentric individuals linked by photography. The concierge, Madeleine, lost her husband in the war. The village bully-grocer, Collignon, operates the vegetable outdoor Produce Market, another Paris institution like the café. His worker, Lucien, is a kind one-armed worker. The neighbor-painter, Dufayel, the “Glass Man” suffers from a bone disease. He paints like Renoir. The disagreeable patron, Joseph, sits in the café and tape records his insulting remarks to the women. Jeunet created an original personal story of daily life in Paris for Amelie.