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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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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 86,955 users   Metascore: 92/100
Reviews: 174 user | 258 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.



(screenplay), (book)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 64 wins & 86 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


Let your imagination set you free


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 February 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$75,721 (USA) (30 November 2007)


$5,990,075 (USA) (4 April 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


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 »


Jean-Dominique Bauby: My diving bell has dragged you down to the bottom of the sea, with me.
See more »


Features Winged Migration (2001) See more »


Concerto for Piano in F Minor BWV 1056 - Largo
(Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach))
Piano: Hae Won Chang
Camerata Cassovia directed by R. Stankovsky - / Naxos - HNH International
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Do yourself a favor
2 January 2008 | by (Columbia, Maryland, USA) – See all my reviews

The inadequacies of the descriptions of this movie emphasize the gulf between the written (or spoken) word and the work of art itself. I could write all the spoilers and it wouldn't make a difference, because the riveting quality here doesn't depend on plot surprises. It is the improbable story, a story that will touch you and then executed by actors who seem like their lives depend on being true to the story.

This is an anti-Hollywood, anti-formula movie. Those have their place, but this is a great antidote to the silly decisions made by inappropriately powerful studio execs.

See it. You'll be thankful you did.

124 of 158 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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was i the only one who was a bit taken back..... ElliottJMead
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