by Alex Asher Sears

Watching a Jean-Pierre Jeunet film is like looking at the world through Instagram filters. With Amélie (2001), Jeunet is at his Walden-filtered finest. It also happens to be Gen’s favorite film and on my short list of perfect movies for a lazy Sunday afternoon.



It’s late summer in Paris 1997. Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tatou) is a quiet, young waitress in a Montmartre cafe who spends more time observing the world than experiencing it. Part Emma Woodhouse, part Nancy Drew, she makes it her mission to improve the lives of those around her – the lovelorn, the lost, the lonely. Along the way she meets Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz), guardian angel of discarded photobooth selfies, and realizes that perhaps she deserves more out of life as well.

The beauty of the film is in the details – from character to costume to set design – leaving something new to discover every time I see it.


In mid-90s style, Amélie pairs low Dr. Martens with vintage sundresses and fitted cardigans, but it’s always more Breathless than Reality Bites. Amelie’s style is Parisian chic without a Breton stripe to be found. (For a great, big, fabulous dose of stripe mania, check out Jeunet’s collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier for City of Lost Children. Add it to your queue.)


With her wardrobe a palette of reds and greens (always vibrant, but never Deck The Halls), this Zara dress would be Amelie’s version of the LBD. Perfect as warm weather lingers through early September, then add a short jacket a la Mlle Poulain as the temps drop.

Like the bold patterned wallpapers that grace the film’s Montmartre apartments, I adore the bold print of The Julie bag by Clare Vivier. Perfect worn cross body while riding on the back of a scooter through Paris… or to lunch with friends.


Amelie’s gamine look is no fuss perfection – a sheer lip tint and a well-defined brow. Add a hint of color to cheeks and you’re set as the weather begins to change with the leaves.

I swear by tarte cheek stains for a slight flush that stays put all day (and does double duty for lips, too). My favorite shade, a coral called Tipsy, works on most skin types from porcelain-swear-by-SPF-100 types to those who’ve perfected their late summer tan. Tarte recently repackaged the shade in a marbled paper tube, which instantly makes me think of the marbled covers of Nino’s beloved photo album in the movie.

Everything, especially makeup, is better marbled, which is why I also love the faux glow you can get with the goof proof Bronze and Brighten baked marble compact by Laura Geller.


Let’s talk brows. Great for travel or touchups, Anastasia Beverly Hills Go Brow Kit is fabulous down to the gold foil packaging (the pattern is a bit like the wallpaper in Amélie’s apartment, no?). A great brow is easy with the right tools. People might not be able to tell what’s different, but you’ll instantly look well rested and put together. Magic doesn’t just happen in the movies.


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