focusing on spreading happiness and positivity as far as we can." We're living in unusual, sometimes frightening times, and it's easy to feel stressed and lose our sense of creativity and just simple joy in life (for me, anyway, who am prone to severe anxiety in the best of times!). It always helps to remember what we love--writing, reading, looking at beautiful paintings, listening to music, watching a sunset, loving our families/pets/homes. Every Monday, look for us on Facebook, Twitter, all sorts of social media, with the hashtag #UpbeatAuthors.
So this weekend I am taking a look at one of my very favorite (and upbeat!) movies of all time, Amelie, starring the adorable Audrey Tautou, from 2001. This is of my favorites not just because it's set in my very favorite city (and it's a very Parisian movie), but because the heroine just makes me--smile. Which is her mission in life.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, "Amelie is a fanciful comedy about a young woman who discreetly orchestrates the lives of the people around her, creating a world of her own making." And she does this despite her own paralyzing shyness, thanks to an active imagination, a whimsical sense of mischief (the bit where she cracks the creme brulee with her spoon ad then smiles is gorgeous!). She returns a precious childhood box to an old man, leading to a reunion with his estranged family; matchmakes foe co-worker, Gina, with hilarious and ultimately disastrous results, helps a bullied shopworker; and even gets her widowed father to follow his dreams of travel using his garden gnome.
With the help of her disabled neighbor, Monsieur Dufayel, who paints Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party over and over, though he can never figure out the girl drinking from the water glass, Amelie even comes out of her own shell. The girl in the painting, and Amelie herself, have been frozen by their own fears. She releases herself, and finds love with the equally quirky Nino (after a series of bizarre courting games!)
It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, and won the French Cesar Award. If any movie is guaranteed to make me feel #upbeat, it's this one! What is yours?