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Amelie

Director:
Jean-PierreJeunet
Starring: Audrey Tautou et al.
Length: 120 minutes
Rated: R
Studio: Miramax Zoe

ďAmelieĒ is a sweet and mostly light French fable about a waiflike young woman who quietly goes about her life, which is all about doing good things for others and writing wrongs ~ anonymously.  From Amelie we can all learn about the power of giving through small acts of kindness; we can learn about service; and we can learn about playfulness.  On a deeper level, I found ďAmelieĒ to be a haunting story about this young womanís desire to be loved and to find ways to connect with others. She is a terrific observer, yet she is able to move into action.

After surviving some unusual events in her young life, Amelie is out on her own and working as a waitress in Paris. Her acts of kindness begin soon after she discovers a small box in her apartment, containing the flotsam and jetsom trinkets of a little boy, and decides that she will find the rightful owner of these treasures, who is now a middle aged man.  She does find him.  Watching from afar as he happens upon the box and opens it to find precious souvenirs and memories of his past, Amelie makes a declaration that she will continue to do good things for others.  And so the movie unfolds.  She is delightfully interested in others, which shows up in the way she treats her restaurant clientele and how she encourages her colleague, Georgette, to open up to love.  She is also an advocate for a grocerís assistant, Lucien, who takes way too much abuse from his boss, and who, interestingly, manages to project joy every day in spite of his difficult situation.

Her playfulness shows through in numerous episodes, not the least of which is a scheme to engage her withdrawn father from afar, where she steals a gnomey statue from his garden and sends it on a trip with a flight attendant friend, who takes its picture in front of various world landmarks and sends the photos to Amelieís dad.  He is, naturally, confused and bemused.

Amelie has an unusual relationship with an elderly painter, who encourages Amelie to reach out for what it is that she wants in life. Eventually, Amelie crafts a plan to attract a young man, Nino, into her life. In the end, Amelie is able to connect with what we hope will be her soulís love.

There are so many possible avenues for spiritual practice from this movie!  I encourage you to see it if you havenít, and to notice how it lifts your spirits. Your job, then, is to transfer that to others, just as Amelie did.

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