The director of Delicatessen brings us this delightful fairytale story of Amelie, a shy waitress who plots random acts of kindness. Amelie decides on her mission after witnessing the joy she brings to an older man by anonymously returning a box of his childhood treasures. Other acts include sending a garden gnome on a world tour, matchmaking, videomaking, and bestowing justice on behalf of a slow-moving grocer’s assistant. Finally, karma catches up with her, and Amйlie must decide whether she’s brave enough to realize joy in her own life, not just through creating joy for others. Magic realism and the engaging pixie-like quality of lead actor Audrey Tatou make this perfect holiday fare. [france, 2001]

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