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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

Le scaphandre et le papillon (original title)
PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 1 February 2008 (USA)
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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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Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 66 wins & 94 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

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Language:

Release Date:

1 February 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€13,473 (Belgium) (27 May 2007)

Gross:

$5,990,075 (USA) (6 April 2008)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2006 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. See more »

Goofs

When Jean-Dominique goes on a boat ride, a 'Speedferries' vessel can be seen in the background. Speedferries started business in 2004, years after the movie was set. See more »

Quotes

Jean-Dominique Bauby: We're all children, we all need approval.
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Connections

Featured in Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Pauvre petit fille riche
(Vline Buggy / Hubert Giraud)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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