Amelie (Blu-ray Steelbook Review)

Amelie Blu-ray SteelbookBursting with imagination and having seen her share of tragedy and fantasy, Amélie is not like the other girls. When she grows up, she becomes a waitress in a Montmartre bar run by a former dancer. Amélie enjoys simple pleasures until she discovers that her goal in life is to help others. To that end, she invents all sorts of tricks that allow her to intervene incognito into other people’s lives, including an imbibing concierge and her hypochondriac neighbor. But Amélie’s most difficult case turns out to be Nino Quicampoix, a lonely sex shop employee who collects photos abandoned at coin-operated photo-booths. Amelie is now available on Blu-ray + Steelbook!


Amelie Blu-ray Steelbook


Amelie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) is an imaginative, precocious, and tenacious young woman living in Paris. She sees the good and bad in people but endeavors to bring out the best in some, whilst making it her mission in life to do just that. At times, at the expense of her own happiness. During the beginning of the film, we see that Amelie was raised by neurotic parents and essentially sheltered her entire childhood. This in turn made her imagination run wild and was an escape of sorts from the real world she was in.

Once she turned of age and saved up enough money she moved out of her home and began living a quiet life in Montmartre. Some of the people she lives in proximity to can be eccentric as can the people she works with. She lives alone and one day she finds a box in her apartment with various mementos and trinkets. This leads her on an adventure to track down the people that the mementos hold meaning for. As she starts on this journey, she comes across a quirky young man named Nino (Matthieu Kassovitz), who may as well be the male version of Amelie. She’s drawn to him as much as he is drawn to her. Cute and sweet moments ensue thereafter.

Amelie, the 2001 film starring Audrey Tautou and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet that took the world by storm has returned to the Blu-ray format via Sony Pictures Classics. It was previously published by Lionsgate and had been out of print for some time. This was also Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s first film after he had directed Alien Resurrection.

I’ve watched Amelie several times over the years, being that Jean-Pierre Jeunet is one of my favorite French directors of all time and the film never lets me down. Some folks frown upon it because they think it’s a sappy romance of a film. Wrong. It has an awesome visual style and hits all the proper film beats just right. I still can’t believe it’s been more than twenty years since it was released in theaters!


Amelie Blu-ray Steelbook


NOTE: Stills are provided for promotional use only and are not from the Blu-ray.

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1


Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Well, by now some folks are questioning why Amelie was not released on 4K disc. I’ve heard from recent interviews with Jean-Pierre Jeunet that Sony “restored” it. The PR materials I receive did not have the language saying it had been restored from the 2K DI it was originally finished in. As I understand it, this release is from a new master provided by Sony and not the previously released Lionsgate Blu-ray from 2011. I can only go into this one cold since I did not get the chance to compare it to the Lionsgate version.

With that being said, contrast levels were stellar and I did not notice any scenes of artificial tinkering. DNR was not an issue and detail levels were clear, clean, and crisp.

Depth:  I did notice that the film had a nice grain structure. It wasn’t “fake grain,” and I only noticed a scene or two where it went soft — just a couple of scenes here and there, but the grain structure was still intact.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is the star of the show. The color levels are kicked up several notches when Amelie is in her imagination – everything becomes hyper-stylized – and the color palette steals the show. Banding was not an issue in many of these shots either.

Black Levels: Black levels are nicely balanced. I did not notice any scenes involving crush.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones look nice and natural. No one looked sickly or flush. Amelie Poulain has a sensational complexion.

Noise/Artifacts: I did not detect any instances of noise, artifacts, or anomalies.

Amelie Blu-ray Steelbook


Audio Format(s): French DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles: English, English SDH

Dynamics: Amelie on Blu-ray comes with a French DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack. It’s immersive and will pull you into Amelie’s dynamic world in Montmartre. It’s a near-reference studio track that has always sounded great, even back in the old DVD days.

Height: N/A

Low-Frequency Extension: The LFE subwoofer compliments the bass levels quite nicely. It’s not a rumble-a-minute-type-of-film, but the subwoofers give the low-end some serious warmth.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound channels bring the sounds of Montmartre to life in an immersive fashion. From the busy streets and to the lively interiors of Amelie’s apartment the restaurant where she works, you will be able to pick up a lot of detail from rear channels.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels are nice and balanced. Keep the remote handy should the women having sex be a bit too much on the eardrums. It’s a funny scene but the neighbors might think you’re up to something.


Amelie Blu-ray Steelbook


The extras remain extensive but are all ported over from the previously released Blu-ray and DVD editions. The only new special feature, which is exclusive to this Blu-ray+Steelbook is the new Jean-Pierre Jeunet interview, as he looks back on the making of the film all those years ago.


Special Features:

  • ALL-NEW: Jean-Pierre Jeunet Looks Back (Blu-ray Exclusive) (5:00)
  • Commentary with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • The Look of Amélie (12:47)
  • Q&A With the Director (24:36)
  • Q&A With the Director and the Cast (5:55)
  • An Intimate Chat With Jean-Pierre Jeunet (20:48)
  • Fantasies of Audrey Tautou (2:07)
  • Cast Auditions
  • Home Movie: Inside the Making of Amélie (12:45)
  • Storyboard Comparisons (0:57)
  • The Amélie Scrapbook
  • Trailer (1:11)



Amelie Blu-ray Steelbook


Amelie is a terrific film on all fronts. This new Sony release looks and sounds great. The steelbook packaging is a nice touch, as well. The video and audio are near-reference in my honest opinion. The bevy of extras round out a great release of a film. Amelie on Blu-ray is highly recommended!


Amelie is now available on Blu-ray+Steelbook!


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Amelie Blu-ray Steelbook


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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