Study Guide

Amélie Director

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Jean-Pierre Jeunet's films have three things in common: a French style, quirkiness, and Dominique Pinon. The diminutive Pinon starred in Jeunet's first feature film, Delicatessen (1991), where he tried his best to avoid a crazy butcher, and since then he's played Audrey Tautou's uncle in A Very Long Engagement (2004), ridden on Ron Perlman's back in Alien: Resurrection (1997), and harassed the waitresses at the Café des 2 Moulins in Amélie.

Pinon is a colorful and versatile actor, even if he doesn't look like it on the surface. The same can be said for Jeunet, a director who packs his films full of interesting little details, vivid colors, and surreal images. Jeunet says he "love[s] weird and strange and original ideas". This eye for odd detail is what got him noticed for the fourth (and arguably most-hated) film in the Alien franchise, Alien: Resurrection. Like another art-house director, David Fincher (who directed Alien 3), Jeunet breathed life into the franchise, with mixed results.

After that, Jeunet abandoned the dark streak of his earlier movies for rainbow-colored optimism in Amélie, A Very Long Engagement (our suggested alternate title—Amélie Goes to War) and a perfume commercial, all with Amélie star Audrey Tautou. Some critics miss his dark side, but we're happy to immerse ourselves in whatever world he creates.

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