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Amélie Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 19, 2011
  • List Price: $19.99

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Purchase Amélie on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:5/5]

Only from the mind of the same mind that brought us the quirky film about a post-apocalyptic dystopian world where some have turned to cannibalism, Delicatessen, could the visually and emotionally fantastical tale Amélie also spring. A play of light and color from writer/director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Alien: Resurrection; Delicatessen) and cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, Amélie is almost like a bedtime story for adults.

At the heart of the story is Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou), a young woman who, since childhood has had a wild imagination, brought on her by her tendency toward shyness and isolation, a result of an upbringing by two neurotic parents. Now an adult working in a local café, the shy Amélie takes pleasures in small things in life, like the feeling of running her hands through a sack of dry beans. But she is awakened to a whole new world when she quite by accident finds an old child’s tin of trinkets hidden away in her apartment wall. Determining to find the owner and, upon returning it to him, if it brings him pleasure, to help others, she becomes a neighborhood guardian angel and cupid. She helps her co-workers in their love loves, is kind to blind men walking down the street, and even helps her father, now a widower, to break out if his shell. But it is when she bums into a handsome and mysterious young stranger that her world really comes alive. Amélie begins a journey of self-exploration and love like never before, but does she have the courage to take the big leap?

Tautou is absolutely flawless in her performance here, while Jeunet’s film, in part moved forward by an almost bedtime story reading by a narrator and partly told through stunning visual elements, mostly in red and green with occasional splashes of other bold primary colors, is an absolute delight to the senses.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

A delightfully colorful and visually engaging film such as Amélie deserves a strong transfer to Blu-ray that can really do it justice. This AVC 1080p encodement from Lionsgate/Miramax doesn’t disappoint in that area. It looks rather clean, with only the occasional small hint of surface damage from a slight speck of dust. Otherwise, the transfer looks spotless, offers dazzling color, and inky blacks with extended shadow detail.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is a somewhat active one, well suited to the material here. It offers a good amount of atmospherics in the surround channels, lots of discrete panning to the sides and rear, spacious stereo imaging, and clean dialogue.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

Amélie comes packed with extras, but it’s all DVD-era materials that are in standard definition. There have been no new high-definition supplements added to this new Blu-ray release of the film.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • The Look of Amélie (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:12:48) — Jeunet and Delbonnel discuss how they created the look of the film.
  • Fantasies of Audrey Tautou (1.78:1; 480i/60; 00:02:07) – An Audrey Tautou blooper reel.
  • Screen Tests:
    • Audrey Tautou
    • Urbain Cancelier
    • Yolande Moreau
  • Q & A with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:24:37) – At American Cinematheque in Los Angeles, January 9th and 10th, 2002.
  • Q & A with Director and Cast (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:05:55; French)
  • Storyboard Comparison (1.78:1; 480i/60; 00:00:58) – The “haunted house” sequence from the film is compared.
  • An Intimate Chat with Jean-Pierre Jeunet (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:20:48)
  • “Home Movies” Inside the Making of Amélie (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:12:46)
  • Theatrical Trailer (13.33:1; 480i/60)
  • The Amélie Scrapbook:
    • Behind the Scenes Photos
    • French Poster Concepts
    • Storyboards
    • The Garden Gnome’s Travels

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

I loved this film from the first time I watched it and I’ve been waiting on a U.S. Blu-ray release since the format first launched. It’s finally here and all I can say is that I am very pleased, despite the lack of any new HD supplements. I guess you can’t get everything, but that’s no reason to pass up this marvelous release. Highly recommended.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product]B004ZG5EYC[/amazon-product]

Purchase Amélie on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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