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This film has been wildly popular in France this year and I hope it is playing where you live.  As usual with such films, I was able to see it only by driving for an hour or so to New Orleans.  It was certainly worth the trip.  Amelie tells the story of the title character, first as a little girl growing up with big dreams but forced to live a very circumscribed life and then follows her out into the world.  This world is a bit surreal because Amelie's fantasy life and real life are hard to separate.  She seems stuck in her own dreary life, living in a rundown apartment and working as a waitress.  She is used to watching the world from the outside and has trouble taking part in it herself.  Her life changes when she discovers a box full of toys that has been hidden for 50 years behind a wall and returns it to the ``boy" who had hidden them.  Through this experience, Amelie also discovers that she can alter real life to be more like her fantasies.  This is brought home to us when she finds a photo album full of pictures taken at a photo-booth.  Each picture has been torn to pieces and then pasted back together.  Amelie begins to try and alter other people's lives for the better but has trouble altering her own life.  She lures her father out of his shell by stealing his garden gnome and sending it on a round-the-world trip.  Amelie's life begins to change when she meets a man and falls in love.  He is the author of the strange photo album and has a similar fantastic view of life.  Meanwhile, the denizens of her apartment building and the cafe where she works find their lives are changing for the better thanks to the little alterations that Amelie has engineered.  And slowly, Amelie herself is drawn into changing her own life.  This is a wonderful film, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet who is well known in France but known over here only for directing the 4th installment of the Aliens series.  He uses the editing and camerawork to create a wonderfully strange world for Amelie to live in.  The cast is a great bunch of French character actors.  The one actor that I had seen before, Dominique Pinon, worked for Jeunet before in Alien 4.  One who I had not seen before is Audrey Tatou who does an amazing job as Amelie.  There's nothing bad I can say about this film.  It certainly puts to shame almost everything made on this side of the Atlantic.  The original title of this film is ``Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain" and her destiny is indeed fabulous.