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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)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Julian Schnabel

Writers:

Ronald Harwood (screenplay), Jean-Dominique Bauby (book)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 67 wins & 95 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mathieu Amalric ... Jean-Do
Emmanuelle Seigner ... Céline
Marie-Josée Croze ... Henriette Roi
Anne Consigny ... Claude
Patrick Chesnais ... Le Docteur Lepage
Niels Arestrup ... Roussin
Olatz López Garmendia Olatz López Garmendia ... Marie Lopez
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Père Lucien et le Vendeur
Marina Hands ... Joséphine
Max von Sydow ... Papinou
Gérard Watkins Gérard Watkins ... Le Docteur Cocheton
Théo Sampaio Théo Sampaio ... Théophile
Fiorella Campanella Fiorella Campanella ... Céleste
Talina Boyaci Talina Boyaci ... Hortense
Isaach De Bankolé ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

France | USA

Language:

French

Release Date:

1 February 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€403,978 (France), 27 May 2007, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$75,721, 2 December 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,990,075, 6 April 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only film that year to be Oscar nominated for Best Director, but not Best Picture. 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

Papinou: Having a mistress is no excuse for leaving the mother of your children; the world has lost its values.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Honey Pie
(uncredited)
by The Beatles
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Cinematic Art achieved
9 November 2007 | by 23picturesSee 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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