The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) Poster

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10/10
Adjectives.
ViolentStarfish28 November 2017
Magical. Melancholic. Impeccable. Artistic. Gorgeous. Exceptional. Gut-wrenching. Imaginative. Atmospheric. Depressing. Complex. Remarkable. Passionate. Sublime. Provoking. Beautiful. Layered. Indulging. Powerful. Touching. Gripping. Moody. Dreamy. Colorful. Poetic. Whimsical. Decorative. Pure. Emotional. Wonderful. Romantic. Dazzling. Surrealistic. Comedic. Abstract. Superb. Tragic. Fascinating. Visionary. Playful. Expressive. Triumphant.
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9/10
Prime cinema..
eng_fadi779 September 2017
Ever imagined being a total cripple? No, not losing your ability to walk, but losing all your motor functions; no speaking, no scratching your knee, not even shaking your head to deter an irritating fly off your nose. Imagine being the center of a sea of consciousness, where you may sense and perceive the world around you, feel and think just like everyone else – but just that? Imagine your only way of communicating anything is the movement of one eyelid, and just one eyelid? Can one persist only on memory and imagination, of a life that has been but is no more? The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le scaphandre et le papillo), is based on a true story of Elle editor, Jean-Dominique Bauby. Jean-Do, as is called by his close ones, suffers from a stroke, and goes into deep coma, only to wake up with a rare disease called locked-in syndrome, described in the few lines above. A butterfly and a diving bell are likely the metaphors of freedom and appreciation of life, and the dire feeling of sinking, deeper and deeper into despair and helplessness. For a big part of the film, you experience the world only from Jean- Do's perspective, and you are left with no choice but to empathize; empathize in its broadest sense possible, to imagine being that person himself. There's a great distress, but there is humor too, and there is hope. The film is copious with astounding scenery, intense emotions, and the face-close-ups of beautiful French women. Watch it for yourself.
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Touching, Transcending & Life-Affirming. One Of The Best Films Of Its Year.
CinemaClown2 July 2017
Crafted with sincerity, told with compassion & retaining its radiant spirit from start to finish, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is an aesthetically pleasing & emotionally fulfilling tale that's tragic, touching & transcending, and despite its heartbreaking premise, manages to provide a cinematic experience that's life-affirming.

Based on the memoir of the same name, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly tells the story of Jean- Dominique Bauby after he suffers a massive stroke that renders him paralysed from head to toe. Being able to communicate by blinking his only functioning eye, the plot covers the monumental task he undertakes to write a book, one letter at a time.

Directed by Julian Schnabel, the first act of the film is shot entirely from Bauby's perspective that puts the viewers in the protagonist's shoes, allows them to experience the confusion & frustration that he's feeling, and broadens out once the extent of his damage is fully revealed. It's no doubt a smart technique, for it instantly brings the audience on the same wavelength as Bauby.

Although majority of the plot unfolds inside the hospital, the story does move out in a much more serene environment as plot progresses and those scenes are gorgeously photographed. Utilising unconventional angles which only work out in its favour, the film also lets us in on his inner voice, sheds more light on his past, and never shies away from showcasing his undeterred imagination.

Coming to the acting department, Mathieu Amalric plays Jean-Dominique Bauby from inside out and is absolutely fantastic in the given role. Having nothing but an eye to shape his performance, it's amazing what Amalric pulls off here, for his work isn't just expressive & evocative but amusing as well, when it's meant to be. And he's brilliantly supported by the rest of the cast who play their part responsibly.

On an overall scale, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a spiritually elevating tale that beautifully illustrates the power of imagination and is an uplifting account of the indomitable will of the human spirit to overcome near-impossible odds. Wonderfully directed, sensibly scripted, exquisitely shot, patiently edited & splendidly performed, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is discomforting but it's also inspiring. One of the best films of its year.
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8/10
The art of living when imprisoned in oneself
wvriend25 April 2017
One wonders how a story about a man Bauby who is locked up in himself, able only to move one eye lid, can be interesting for almost two hours. Well, the story that is told by Bauby (while no one can hear) him is vivid, humorous, touching and philosophical at times. Bauby makes the best of the situation, whether he dictates a message to his lover over the phone through his wife, having a day at the beach with his family or else. Mathieu Almaric (Quantum of Solace) as Bauby is astonishing. With only one eye available to show expression he manages to bring Bauby to life and do him credit. What's left is a movie that is encouraging and hopeful. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is truly amazing and worth watching. It will leave you with a positive touch.
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9/10
An Amazing Cinematic Experience!
Sameir Ali24 December 2016
The real story of Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who had a stroke and is paralyzed. He has no control over his body except for the left eye.

This is definitely an amazing cinematic experience. Almost 45 minutes of the movie in the POV of the paralyzed protagonist. This will make you to feel his helplessness and suffocation. The renowned DOP Janusz Kaminski has done a wonderful job to communicate this feeling. Director Julian Schnabel, actor Mathieu Amalric and all others made a very well impact in the movie.

The movie is sad, but give you an energy and motivation to live. Watching this movie will change your views of life at least for some days. When you are so frustrated and tired of life, this is one of the films recommended.

Do not miss this movie. Highly Recommended!
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8/10
first person POV hypnotic
SnoopyStyle4 August 2016
Jean-Dominique 'Jean-Do' Bauby (Mathieu Amalric) is transferred to the seaside Berck-sur-Mer hospital near Calais after suffering a stroke leaving him paralyzed and only able to move his left eye. He was the vibrant editor of Elle and family man. Céline Desmoulins (Emmanuelle Seigner) is his partner and mother of his children. Speech therapist Henriette Durant (Marie-Josée Croze) teaches him communicating with only one eye. Through his imagination and flashbacks, he deals with his life such as his shut-in father (Max von Sydow). He had a deal to write a book before the stroke and decides to write one anyways with the help of Claude Mendibil (Anne Consigny).

One would expect the monologue first person POV to be a tough watch. It turns out to be quite hypnotic. His need and frustration is so compelling. I still remember the guy turning off his TV. It doesn't hurt to be staring at Marie-Josée Croze's face. Amalric's performance could be easily dismissed but his distorted face is shocking to look at. It's a surprisingly compelling watch all the way through.
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9/10
Sadly Brilliant
wavecat1324 August 2015
This is one of those devastating movies that I only need to watch one time. Once it got started, it was hard to look away, yet the unfolding story is one of great pain and tragic circumstances. Yet there is heroism here, and a tribute to the eternal fire of the human spirit. A lot of credit should go to Julian Schnabel, who is a brilliant director, and who should make a lot more movies in my opinion. The cinematic approximation of Bauby's condition are very powerful, and we are drawn in to the story of this (not especially likable) man's life. Bauby seems to have been a hotshot and a player, yet one who loved his children (if not his wife). Mathieu Amalric also comes thru in a big way.
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8/10
Not Divine but Informative.
Python Hyena19 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007): Dir: Julian Schnabel / Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Max Von Sydow, Marie-Josee Croze, Anne Consigny: Depressing yet provocative film about freedom of mind and body. It is the true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby whose life halts when he awakens from a coma. He can hear and understand but unable to communicate. Director Julian Schnabel does a fantastic job at emphasizing immobility. The feeling isn't pleasant even for the viewer but that is precisely why the film works. Mathieu Amalric brilliantly plays off the paralysis. He uses his eyes to indicate communication but his fate is more a relief to the audience when they would likely prefer the same thing. Emmanuelle Seigner plays the mother of his three children who sticks by him thick and thin. Max Von Sydow plays his father whose own memory is fading. He can sympathize with his son but within his own disability he is at similar loss. Marie-Josee Croze displays the patience of a social worker. Her highlight is the techniques she teaches him in his process of effective communication. The role is fairly straight forward but Croze nails it creating a scene stealing performance. Anne Consigny also makes an appearance. Film gives strong sense of being paralyzed, which makes it more effective than pleasant. Score: 8 / 10
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8/10
An extraordinary life relayed with impeccable judgement
paul2001sw-131 December 2014
The story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, who learnt to communicate in spite of being paralysed in every respect save for the ability to move one eye, is remarkable. What's almost as surprising is that Julian Schnabel has been able to turn his struggle for a meaningful existence into a watchable film, steering (mostly) clear of pathos, and managing to make Jean-Do's experience comprehensible, frightening and moving (though the man himself had sadly died in the interval since the book he wrote, on which the film is based, had been completed). As it happened, Jean-Do had been successful and selfish prior to his bodily failure; the contrast between is old life and his new leavens the film without taking away its point. Overall, this is a very well judged interpretation of a difficult, horrifying, but fascinating story. And a tribute to a man who resisted his initial impulse to give up, and who, it seems, found a reason to live even in the most adverse circumstances.
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7/10
Astounding true story
lowenand14 December 2014
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (original French title: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) is not only the story of what happened to Jean-Dominique Bauby after he suffered a stroke, it is a story of the human will, and the fighting spirit of Mr. Bauby in particular. There's no doubt about it, the real life story is a 10 out of 10. How about the movie?

Unfortunately the movie doesn't quite live up to its potential, or do full justice to this amazing story. That's not to say it isn't well acted. Mathieu Amalric can not be faulted, he is flawless in his portrayal of Jean-Dominique Bauby. However, the movie does not quite deliver on the emotional level, or in setting up the story fully. We spend a lot of time seeing Bauby communicating with beautiful women by blinking his left eye. It becomes more about the writing of the book than it does about his life and his incredible accomplishment. Even the conclusion fades away.

It's still a movie I would recommend, most of all because of the overall qualities intrinsic in the real life story. Done right, it could have been a multiple Academy-award winning movie.
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7/10
Pretty Good
gavin694212 November 2014
The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric) who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye is not paralyzed.

Director Julian Schnabel is a pretty amazing guy. Not only is he a great artist and painter, who also happens to work on films, but he went the extra mile of learning French in order to make this movie. Did it have to be in French? No, but Schnabel demanded it.

Some of this film takes place from the point of view of Bauby, which is pretty amazing given that he is paralyzed in all but his left eye. That makes the use of the camera very limited, but also rather powerful if done right. Here, it is done right.
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8/10
A brilliant and moving biopic from a human and technical standpoint
estebangonzalez108 September 2014
"I decided to stop pitying myself. Other than my eye, two things aren't paralyzed, my imagination and my memory."

Julian Schnabel's French film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, is a powerful and emotional film about a man suffering from locked-in syndrome due to a stroke. Despite having his mental faculties intact, he is almost completely paralyzed and unable to communicate with the outside world. The once successful magazine editor is now living as a prisoner of his own body. The only muscle he is capable of moving is his left eye and with the help of a therapist he manages to communicate by blinking his eye. Mathieu Amalric gives a powerful performance as Jean- Dominique Bauby, and most of the film takes place from his point of view. Schnabel brilliantly and effectively uses camera angles to give the audience a glimpse of what this person's claustrophobic world was like. From the very opening scene we are hooked and drawn to Jean- Do's new world as he's trapped in his body. It is a very emotional film based on the autobiography written by Bauby himself who managed to write the book with the help of his therapist through the use of a communication system they developed. The sole fact that this man was able to write a book in the condition he was in, is reason enough for me to want to read his book or see a movie based on his life. It takes a lot of courage to open up the way Jean-Do did, and I think it is one of the main reasons why this film worked so well for audiences across the globe. It says a lot about how powerless we are against these illnesses, but at the same time we can also share Jean-Do's approach of learning to deal with his disability and facing the obstacles with optimism. He realized that despite being physically disabled he still had his mental faculties and was able to break those boundaries with the power of his imagination. I am also certain that this element is what caught director Schnabel's attention and what pushed him to make this film. He tells the story with such class that despite the emotional moments you never feel he was trying to be manipulative or force the audience into feeling a certain way. The performances in this film are also outstanding, making this an even more engaging movie. I also loved the beautiful imagery that Schnabel used, turning the film into a poem at times.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was a personal film for me considering that my father is going through a slightly similar experience as the character in this film. He suffered a stroke four years ago and hasn't been able to speak since. The right side of his body was paralyzed, but with help from therapy he has been able to walk again. Despite not being able to speak he understands everything and communicates with us through signs and facial expressions. The brave way in which he has managed to face his illness by always being in good spirits and not letting the disease get the best of him is a constant reminder for me of how much our attitude influences the way we approach life. He could be feeling sorry for himself, or he can stay positive and continue to improve with therapy in a similar way that Jean-Do did with his locked in syndrome. Having your mental capabilities intact is a major force considering you can escape those limitations in your mind and let your imagination fly. In a way, it was a turning point for Jean-Do when he realized this and Schnabel managed to capture those moments really well on camera. The scenes he shares with his family members are among my favorite in the film. I loved the scene in which he's in the beach with his ex-wife and kids. It is such an emotional scene but at the same time it felt authentic and real. The scenes with his father, played by Max von Sydow, are also extremely powerful and effective. You rarely see a biopic like this one, and Schnabel deserves all the credit for making an original and moving picture.
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One of the best foreign films that is gracefully beautiful and artistic.
Dominic LeRose17 July 2014
France is teaching us how to create beautiful and artistic cinematic masterpieces, and its strongest example yet is "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." This true story is about a man named Jean-Do who suffers a seizure that causes his entire body to be paralyzed except for his left eye. Jean-Do is still cognitive and was a very successful editor for the fashion magazine "elle" who had many different lovers, two children, and wealth. Jean-Do experiences many beautiful memories and thoughts through the power of imagination after getting a detailed background of his life and health situation. His ex lover and mother of his children, Celine, visits and takes care of him often, while he misses his current lover and aged father. Jean-Do also is powered by the faces of beautiful nurses who help him and get to understand him by blinking his left eye while they say letters, noting that when he blinks the previous letter was chosen in his constructing word. Director Julian Schnabel makes you see the world through the eyes of Jean-Do himself and creates shots that are so unique that you'll think "How did he do that?" We see the world through the eyes of a physically weak man, but get the thoughts of a powerful and vibrant man with strong feelings and emotions about love and happiness with help from skilled cinematographers. The beauty of each flashback makes us feel grateful for being able to live life with freedom and ability to do whatever we want. We also get to see the formations and failure of various relationships in Jean-Do's life that are very relatable. The perks of parenthood, marriage, and fraternal connections are examined with the perfect amount of screen-time. This masterpiece is set up perfectly and put together in fantastic order to bring you one of the most beautiful and well-constructed foreign films of all time. The beauty of "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" is full of rich symbolism and talented film-makers that you'll be grateful to live and achieve everything you've ever wanted. Live life the best you can, never take anything for granted, and find the beauty in everything, that's the messages we are sent from a work of art that is one of cinema's strongest icons.
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10/10
The poetry of existentialism perfectly translated to film! Bravo!
jackasstrange21 February 2014
'Le Scaphandre et le Papillon' is arguable one of the most beautiful films that I've ever seen. I was expecting some kind of weird depressing drama but what I got here...unbelievable. What a punch in the face. I mean, what a GOOD punch in the face...It's far from being a weird depressing and dry drama. What I got here was a poetic masterpiece comparable to Shakespeare's greatest works, and a character's deconstruction in the likes of Dostoyevsky!

The film is always narrated, and by the protagonist himself. We listen his thoughts so carefully that one would describe it as mesmerizing. Mesmerize the viewer, in fact, is something that most films can't do. Maybe it's because the power the protagonist have in making apparently simple situations turns in a poetry class, which is extremely appealing to me. Also, I've never seen a character study mixed with Shakespeare and extreme existentialism before, and probably I won't see something alike outside THAT film.

The vivid cinematography and the smart and 'contemporany' feel in the direction gives a whole new atmosphere to the film. The acting is very good, I mean, It's easy to Mathieu Amalric stand in a place and do nothing, but his eyes's expressions are what really counts and in the film it was good. They say everything you need to know. While isn't a 'excellent' work, we shall agree it was very well-done and convincing.

I guarantee, this film is a masterpiece. This film needs to be watched. 10/10
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9/10
Tough to watch but exceptional...and true.
MartinHafer23 January 2014
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" is a difficult movie to watch. However, given the subject matter, they manage to do an excellent job. And, since it's currently on the IMDb Top 250 List (currently #243), obviously a lot of people found it to be worth seeing.

When the film begins, you see what the world looks like when a man (Jean-Dominique Bauby) very, very slowly awakens for the first time in weeks. It seems he's been in a coma and this is the result of a stroke--a stroke occurring to a vibrant man who was only in his early 40s at the time. This is possibly the best part of the film and it caught my attention--the fascinating use of very unusual camera angles, focus and close-ups.

After this preliminary examination is complete, one thing is obvious to the doctors---Jean-Dominque cannot talk or communicate. He THINKS he's communicating but no one can hear me and he's locked inside his broken body. Soon the doctors tell him he has something called a 'locked-in syndrome'. In other words, he might never re-learn to communicate or move--this is a horribly scary diagnosis. However, through the course of the film, he learns that he can move his one eye and with that he then learns to communicate.

After working with therapists, Jean-Dominique has an unusual request--he wants his therapist to call a publisher. It seems that he (who was the real life editor of 'Elle' magazine) had an existing contract to write a book--and now he wanted to dictate his memoirs! To do this, he had to use a painfully slow methods involving blinks to spell out every word of the text! Long, complicated but, amazingly, quite possible--resulting an an actual book "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"--which also became the title of this movie.

I could say more about the film but it's best to just see it yourself. I should point out that although it's listed as a French-language film on IMDb, somehow (perhaps much later) an English language dub was also made--using many of the actual voices of folks in the movie (which IS unusual). All in all, I was surprised how watchable the dub was, as I usually avoid dubs because they are done so poorly and so much of the original film is often lost. All in all, it's an exceptional film.

By the way, if you DO watch the film be aware that there is some nudity (in his dreams and flashbacks) and a few of the scenes in the film are tough to watch. It's really not a kids film.
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10/10
Beautiful & incredibly moving
Seamus Harley2 November 2013
This has to be one of the most amazing movies ever made. The cinematography is sublime as well as the soundtrack. While on the whole the movie is really moving, it is also quite humorous at times and it leaves you with an overwhelming feeling once you have watched it for the first time and tell everyone else about it. Mathieu Amalric's portrayal of Jean-Dominique Bauby is perfect and due to the way the film is shot, you can really identify the main character's emotional turmoil, frustrations and fantasies. Why this hasn't won more awards than it has is truly a mystery, definitely one of the finest French movies of all time if not the finest movie ever full stop.
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8/10
Moving, innovative and not too cheesy
justincward2 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The POV story of a man who becomes paralysed by a stroke, and the book he eventually manages to write by blinking at his assistant. In spite of not being faithful to the book and being completely bourgeois, TDBATB powerfully puts across the terrible experience of Jean-Do. The main thrust of the story is of how his wife and mistress react to his condition, and how it's the mistress he really loves in the end. What's very good is Jean-Do's inexpressible anger and cynicism at the patronising and stupid reactions of most of the people he interacts with - in his head. What's not so good is how it's the sentimental story of a privileged narcissist, but the French always do that well.

If this ever happens to me, however, I would like my speech therapist to use the system from Breaking Bad - you have a 5x5 matrix board of the alphabet and pick row, then column, to choose your letter. Jean-Do could have saved a good six months of people reciting the alphabet to him. French medical care, eh?
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7/10
Life can change in an instant...
Rich Wright30 October 2013
Based on a true story of a young French fashion editor who had a stroke and ending up unable to move a muscle in his body as a result, it's an inspiring tale of guts and determination. Suffering from a condition known as Locked In Syndrome, he manages to communicate with the help of a driven speech therapist and even starts to write a book, coincidentally enough, with the same name as this movie. You see, metaphorically speaking he's in this 'Diving Bell' underwater so he can't budge an inch, but his imagination 'The Butterfly' is free to roam. Meh, you'll understand it when you're older.

I can only imagine the horror of being stuck in a lifeless husk of a body... I think I'd want to die. The guy is far braver than I am.... every day people bathe him, dress him, assist him with his toilet functions... and yet he still manages to smile and retain his rather dark sense of humour. Either that or go insane, I suppose. We see his life before the tragedy, and there is rather a sad irony in his actions in the past, considering his current status. Could this be a form of cosmic justice?

Mathieu Amalric is breathtakingly good as the paraplegic lead. A lot of the movie is shot from his POV, and we get a real feel for his character as he experiences ups and downs while adjusting to his new outlook on life. Emmanuelle Seigner is just plain adorable as the lady who helps him find his voice... she's so pretty, you can see how he mistakes her for an angel at first glance. As a triumph over adversity flick, it's a good 'un, and lacks the cheese factor you would associate with an American entry into this genre. Recommended. 7/10
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9/10
a movie worth watching
elasmarhadi13 August 2013
I watched this movie a couple of weeks ago and I really liked it. It's about a man who has a locked-in syndrome and struggles to accept his new "him". The beginning of the movie is just SUBLIME; how the director moves us into bauby's head, so we can see through his eyes, and listen to his mind and live, therefore, the struggle of this unfortunate man, and walk along with him in his hard and long journey. And for this alone i gave it a 9/10. It is well performed and well written and well filmed. To go deeper in the movie, I liked the idea of the detachment of the soul from the body, and how bauby discovers the purest state of humans and experiences the unlimited power of the mind. This movie pushed me to think about who I really am, a soul and a mind. And to question how should i take care of this real me. It's a must watch movie.
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6/10
Life is Sudden
AbhiMathews26 June 2013
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a touching story about a man who wakes up from a coma, only to realize he is paralyzed and suffers from locked-in syndrome. To survive a stroke is one thing, but to never be able to feel your children's hands or speak with your lover is an incomprehensible feeling that subdues death.

Waking up after three weeks to a medical team in a foreign bed is terrifying. To respond to others but only heard by yourself, to love but not capable of showing emotion is an unfathomable experience that this film does an exceptional job of capturing. The producers of this movie understood what it means to be paralyzed, both from a physical and an emotional perspective, and succeed in telling the story of Jean-Do from his point of view.

The tremendous tale of Jean-Dominique Bauby is one that captures the essence of human life and pursues the meaning of existence. This seriously thought-provoking motion picture is one for the ages, and is a film that should be praised for its originality and dedication to magnifying the value of life.
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7/10
Depressing and yet pulls on the heartstrings
KineticSeoul19 February 2013
This is a realistic and depressing flick and yet it's also vivid, visually touching and inspiring to a certain degree. The story is about a guy, a good guy and for the most part a good family man becoming a vegetable after having a stroke and becomes paralyzed from top to bottom. And basically the only thing he can move is his eyelids which is the only way he can communicate with other people, by blinking. And the man is a journalist by the name of Jean-Dominique Bauby and the story he writes. And he writes a book while paralyzed by blinking to other people in order to communicate. The movie really makes you feel like your the protagonist himself, in fact this whole movie is from his perspective and even have first person view thing going on a lot of times. But it all works together almost perfectly. And as the movie progresses I couldn't help but feel sympathetic and a bit attached to the guy. The movie gets kinda tedious at times but that just makes you feel more like what the character has to go through during his daily basis. While paralyzed his imaginations and thoughts are still intact and it really does show his imaginations and past thoughts and experiences in a vivid manner. The movie has depression and sorrow but it also pulls at the heartstrings and makes you feel for the protagonist. Since the movie makes you feel like your part of him, well it does it's best to try to go in that direction and it works for the most part. Mathieu Amalric was the right chose as Jean-Dominique Bauby, he made the character so realistic even if most of the talking happens inside the characters head. And Marie-Josée Croze who plays a speech therapist in this reminded me of brunette version of Naomi Watts.

7.9/10
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7/10
very good first 10 minutes, bad use of a powerful theme
uise30 November 2012
It was very well done the discovery of the state of the main character. The impressions were almost physical. But after a big change, in the intrigue, nothing happens. The director fails to create a main plot, is it that the guy publishes a book ? Bauby says that he is like Mr Noitier from Conte DE Monte Cristo. If you haven't read the book, Noitier is an old man who communicates with his niece by clinging the eye, so we could say he is not in a so abnormal state, and eye clinging communication is ancient. So no gain. But we could say that Bauby is young officer who went to prison on his wedding day, who learned a lot during his imprisonment which is a cocoon, to become a mighty count – a butterfly. In this movie we see a guy who succeeds to publish a book despite his severe handicap, and one week later he dies. The plot could have been "a superficial" editor for a glossy magazine has a severe accident, and he discovers the beauty of having a family, of friends, of enjoying the rays of sun. It is missing the evolution of the main character, he is a too much loving son, a very good father before the accident, after it he remains a skirt hunter. The diving suit could have been his cocoon and to become free afterwords, a butterfly.

Besides missing the big turning point, there are unfinished stories, for example Bauby is called by his mistress in the presence of his wife, who apologize postponing her visit, and she says that she wants to see him … this is a well-built moment, but after he tells her that he misses her each day, we don't hear anything about her.

The play of actors is decent, with the exception of Max Sidow, the father who cries all the time.
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1/10
Another french melodrama
Jose Cruz5 November 2012
Its incredible how persistent the French film industry is. Year after year, day after day, they never give up and unleash to the world their new crop of mediocre dramas that impress the pseudo intellectuals.

Here we have a typical melodrama that follows all the typical patterns of melodrama films. That's it. Period.

I have seem people say that this film is one of the best ever made. Please, try watching some serious stuff, like Apocalipse Now, 8 1/2, Spirited Away and 2001 (to restrict myself to obvious masterpieces) before making such ludicrous claims. If one does say that these films are boring or don't make sense, that's only because one failed to understand them. Period.
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10/10
A Powerful Biopic
Desertman8421 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The astonishing true-life story of Jean-Dominic Bauby - a man who held the world in his palm, lost everything to sudden paralysis at 43 years old, and somehow found the strength to rebound - first touched the world in Bauby's best-selling autobiography The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,then in Jean-Jacques Beineix's half-hour 1997 documentary of Bauby at work, released under the same title, and, ten years after that, in this Cannes-selected docudrama, helmed by Julian Schnabel and adapted from the memoir by Ronald Harwood. In this picture, Mathieu Amalric tackles the difficult role of Bauby; the film co-stars Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Anne Consigny, and Patrick Chesnais.

This biographical drama depicts Bauby's life after suffering a massive stroke, on December 8, 1995 which left him with a condition known as locked-in syndrome. The condition paralyzed him from the neck down. Although both eyes worked, doctors decided to sew up his right eye as it was not irrigating properly and they were worried that it would become infected. He was left with only his left eye and the only way that he could communicate was by blinking his left eyelid.It follows Bauby's story to the letter from his instantaneous descent from a wealthy and congenial playboy and the editor of French Elle, to a bed-bound, hospitalized stroke victim with an inactive brain stem that made it impossible for him to speak or move a muscle of his body. This prison, as it were, became a kind of "diving bell" for Bauby wherein one with no means of escape. With the editor's mind unaffected, his only solace lay in the "butterfly" of his seemingly depthless fantasies and memories. Because of Bauby's physical restriction, he only possessed one channel for communication with the outside world: ocular activity. By moving his eyes and blinking, he not only began to interact again with the world around him, but astonishingly authored the said memoir via a code used to signify specific letters of the alphabet.

What's fascinating is that it is the very restrictions the story imposes on a director that allow Schnabel to turn it into such an eerie stunner of a movie.It uses his skill as a painter to assemble a collage of fantastical images to reveal the exquisite physical wreck that Bauby has become.Both Schnabel and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski fundamentally retool the template for the biopic to create one of the greatest portrayals of the mind's eye ever put to film. A discomforting but inspiring struggle for one enduring, final expression.Overall,it is a breathtaking visuals and dynamic performances make it a powerful biopic.
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