If, as journalist James McBride has said, “the details always tell the story,” then you could probably watch Amelie with the sound turned off and still get the picture. Volume up or down, we can’t resist ogling her Paris apartment, the very definition of offhand, thrown-together, Gallic cool, where the details make every scene a six-course meal for the eyes.
On his DVD commentary, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet notes that he deliberately included red, blue, and green in every frame, even when it had to be added digitally in postproduction. Amelie’s apartment is the hot-in-here version of this palette, with saturated crimsons, burgundies, and flame orange forming the painterly background of most rooms.
Amelie’s living room, with its flocked metallic wallpaper, velvet upholstery, mishmash of silky and patterned pillows, and unusual choices of artwork (most in vintage gold-leaf frames) has the look of a chic yet lived-in art professor’s flat. Check out the personal touches, like the crazy dual-branch lamp on the end table; the flashes of cobalt in the decorative glass vases and bulbous lamp; and graceful floor-lamp shade; and the shelves of kitschy flea-market collectibles.
In the bedroom, another magnifique wallpaper blends in with chair rails and wainscoting painted the same deep scarlet. We love the way the shape of the headboard draws attention up to the tall ceiling and mismatched, whimsical artwork. The bedding has a come-dive-in appeal, balancing a feminine, silky peach duvet with masculine, unadorned pine-green shams. Our favorite touches have to be the bedside lighting, including the shapely ceramic lamp with the pleated and bow-bedecked shade that looks pinched from Grandma’s attic, and the charming shade repurposed as an umbrella by a portly little old man.
The kitchen, one of the only spaces without wallpaper, may at first appear a bit plainer, but look closely. The bloodred walls and cabinets are broken up by the accent wall in tomato-and-white checkerboard (with a genius row of black-and-white subway tiles on top), as well as pops of minty green in the glassware. On t’adore, Amelie, and your fabulous little apartment, too.