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Amelie’s Paris


February 5, 2013 by Amanda

Amelie 2

I can’t really remember how I first discovered the movie “Amelie.” I just remember that it was back in high school when I thought it was tragically cool to watch foreign movies with subtitles and great soundtracks.

But somehow, over the years, this quirky French comedy has remained one of my favorite movies of all time.

The film tells the story of Amelie, a shy young woman with a big imagination living in Paris’ Montmartre neighborhood. Amelie is slightly eccentric, and a bit socially awkward — yet still totally endearing. One day, Amelie decides to anonymously start doing good deeds for others in order to bring them happiness — and of course in the process finds happiness for herself.

The movie — with its rich colors, lively characters, and killer Yann Tiersen soundtrack — is the only movie I’ve seen that, after watching it, makes me want to book a flight to Paris immediately.

Much of “Amelie” was filmed in the real Montmartre neighborhood, meaning that a big fan like me could conceivably visit many of the spots the film’s title character does in the film. And, when I eventually do book that flight and find a hotel in Paris? Well, these will be the top 3 “Amelie”-related sites I’ll want to see:

3. Sacre-Coeur

Formally known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica is one of the most recognizable buildings in Paris after the Eiffel Tower. Located on a hill above Montmartre, it was here that Amelie drew large blue arrows on the ground to lead love interest Nino on a quest to get his lost photo album back.

Plus, it’s just seems like a gorgeous place to soak up the Montmartre atmosphere.

Paris: Sacré-Coeur

Photo by craigbooth, on Flickr

2. Canal Saint-Martin

This one may seem slightly random, but my absolute favorite scene in “Amelie” is the sequence where Amelie describes her likes and dislikes (digging her fingers into bags of grain; movie characters who don’t watch the road while driving). In this scene, there’s an absolutely stunning shot that pans up to Amelie skipping stones, with my favorite Yann Tiersen song playing in the background (see the video below, beginning at 0:14). This was filmed at the Canal Saint-Martin, with Amelie standing on one of the canal’s locks.

1. Cafe Les Deux Moulins

Lastly, I would HAVE to visit the Cafe Les Deux Moulins — the art deco cafe that Amelie’s character worked in, and that actually exists in real life at 15 Rue Lepic. Here I would order a creme brulee (I also like cracking the top of this dessert, just like Amelie), and soak up the Parisian atmosphere.

Amelie Cafe

Photo by M.Markus, on Flickr

There are plenty of other sites to visit around Montmartre that are Amelie-related, but I would be very excited to just see these few.


Any other “Amelie” fans out there?





  1. Edna says:

    Sooo I’ve lived in Paris for over a year now and still haven’t seen Amelie. But I do love the Canal, especially when the weather’s nice-it’s absolutely gorgeous!

    • Amanda says:

      Gah! Get yourself a copy and watch it! Seriously a great movie. And since you live there, I’m sure you’d recognize a lot of the locations!

  2. Classic movie set in Paris! That’s a good one. :)

    • Amanda says:

      Gotta love it! In fact, it’s because of this movie that Paris moved way up on my list. Forget the Louvre and Eiffel Tower… I want to see where Amelie was filmed!

  3. Clare says:

    I adore Amelie! It’s a film that just makes you happy, in every way! And you’re right – it does make you want to book flights immediately. Another magic Paris movie I’ve fallen for recently is Midnight in Paris. More feel-good filmage set in France. But for now… where’s that Amelie DVD? I haven’t watched it in a while…

    • Amanda says:

      Totally agreed on Midnight in Paris, too! Though Amelie is still the #1 movie that makes me want to go to France.

  4. ashree says:

    Seriously never watched Amelie, but I am interested in Paris. Now I really have to watch, and visit Paris for sure! Good post!


  5. mike says:

    I love the movie, it’s on Cable, all the time and I leave it on and swear I can understand the movie without the subtitles after sooooooooo many viewings. I love your post of the movie sights – merci.

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