Amélie was once a charming little foreign film that had you longing for a simple life among long-faced Frogs who just wanted a little goddamn magic in their lives. You were transfixed by the romp’s quiet protagonist, whose cherry lips hung ever open with curiosity, her childlike mannerisms charming everyone she met. Even if you stopped following the subtitles, her porcelain skin danced against a palette of lime greens and fire-engine reds onscreen. As of late, though, you’ve been picking adorable little foreign films like Amélie to bits. You are so wary of vapid style, so eager to dismiss anything visually stimulating as the province of “hipsters,” that a film like Amélie feels cloying and twee. You need not travel to Montmartre to find whimsical characters with strange obsessions: That’s pretty much Portland. But there’s still beauty and wisdom here if you look for it—just keep reading those subtitles.
- Showing at: Academy Theater.
- Best paired with: Miller High Life.
- Also showing: Hecklevision: Showgirls (Hollywood Theatre. 9:30 pm Friday, July 20).