February 5, 2013 by Amanda
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:
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.
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.
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?