Audrey Tautou in Amelie (2001)

Normally foreign films are grossly ignored by the Academy Awards outside of the Foreign Film category, especially in the acting categories. Typically the films that are able to break through such obstacles are dense foreign films that are hard to ignore. While those films deserve to be recognized, often it is the smaller, sometimes sweeter foreign films that are left ignored. The French film Amelie was fortunate enough to be nominated in the Best Foreign Film category and further broke down other barriers, such as being nominated for Original Screenplay. While these were achievements for the film, the most worthy was ignored: Best Leading Actress.

Amelie is the quintessential feel-good film and much of that has to do with Audrey Tautou in the title role. She stars as Amelie, a young waitress in Paris who has spent a large portion of her life being immersed with her imagination. She is quirky and insightful, yet her interactions with others are minimal. It is not until one night when she discovers a “lost treasure,” which inspires her to be a “do-gooder” to those around her. By lightly manipulating situations, Amelie slowly crafts happiness to those around her who live lives of complication. Of course, can Amelie find happiness and true love for herself too?

Audrey Tautou is not only endearing within the film, but perfectly captures the concept of the character being entirely unique and one-of-a-kind. Amelie hinged on Tautou’s performance and due to her acting being the perfect combination of sweet, comedic and dramatic, just the mere sight of Tautou’s Amelie warms one heart.

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