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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
"Le scaphandre et le papillon" (original title)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  23 May 2007 (France)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 76,912 users   Metascore: 92/100
Reviews: 167 user | 252 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed.

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(screenplay), (book)
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Title: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

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Top 250 #247 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 56 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Patrick Chesnais ...
Le Docteur Lepage
...
Olatz López Garmendia ...
Marie Lopez
...
...
...
Papinou
Gérard Watkins ...
Théo Sampaio ...
Théophile
Fiorella Campanella ...
Céleste
Talina Boyaci ...
Hortense
...
Laurent
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Storyline

Forty-three year old Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby - Jean-Do to his friends - awakens not knowing where he is. He is in a Berck-sur-Mer hospital, where he has been for the past several weeks in a coma after suffering a massive stroke. Although his cognitive facilities are in tact, he quickly learns that he has what is called locked-in syndrome which has resulted in him being almost completely paralyzed, including not being able to speak. One of his few functioning muscles is his left eye. His physical situation and hospitalization uncomfortably bring together the many people in his life, including: Céline Desmoulins, his ex-lover and mother of his children; Inès, his current lover; and his aged father who he calls Papinou. Among his compassionate recuperative team are his physical therapist Marie, and his speech therapist Henriette. Henriette eventually teaches him to communicate using a system where he spells out words: she reads out the letters of the alphabet in ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

eye | paralyzed | editor | stroke | blink | See more »

Taglines:

Let your imagination set you free

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity, sexual content and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 May 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£106,911 (UK) (8 February 2008)

Gross:

$5,990,075 (USA) (4 April 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Julian Schnabel learned French to make the film. See more »

Goofs

After Bauby's right eye is sewn shut and hidden behind the opaque lens of his glasses, the angled mirror over his bed reveals it to be open and tracking along with the left eye. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Céline: Bauby, 43, a renowned journalist, family man and free spirit, was planning a book about female revenge.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

La Mer
(Charles Trenet / Charles Trenet - Albert Lasry)
Performed by Charles Trenet
© Editions Raoul Breton
© 1946 Capitol Music, a division of EMI Music France
With the kind authorization of EMI Music France
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Cinematic Art achieved
9 November 2007 | by (Beverly Hills, CA) – See all my reviews

One of the best films in years, and in artistic cinematic terms, one of the best films I've ever seen. That's a heavy statement to make, but off the top of my head, I cannot think of another film that explores the inner workings of a character so intimately and believably, while blending cinematography, sound effects, and musical score in such harmony -- but in a fashion we (as American's at least) are not trained to enjoy. I felt the French influence strongly cinematically and, of course in the dialogue, but the writing and acting was so fluid it felt like the subtitles weren't even there.

The film deals with a rare physical condition, and I was physically there with the character from start to finish. I felt each moment as if it were my own. That is a rare accomplishment in cinema. Julian Schnabel directed a stellar cast. Mathieu Amalric was unusually charming as Jean-Dominique Bauby, and Max Von Sydow was heartbreaking as his lonely widower father. The female leads were all equally impressive as they were beautiful. I don not mean to generalize them, but they were all so excellent that they blend seamlessly in my mind, in terms of performance.

Overall, this film was as pure a cinematic experience as I've witnessed in a long time. A true artist turns out a film that is truly a piece of art. Julian Schnabel takes his time in between films, but with work like this, there's no need to rush. Like a good painting, one can enjoy it for a lifetime.


177 of 205 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Favourite foreign films! chrisadamz
Boring, predictable and unable to put u inside the character bernatdg
This movie was terrible! amaranthine_glory
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was i the only one who was a bit taken back..... ElliottJMead
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