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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

Le scaphandre et le papillon (original title)
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

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

Julian Schnabel learned French to make the film. 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: A poet once said, "Only a fool laughs when nothing's funny"
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Connections

Referenced in Children at Play (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Inspiration
28 December 2007 | by mistarkusSee all my reviews

The immersion into the life of a man that is a part of a horrific event, where just about all seems lost and where he becomes literally trapped with in his own body can be heart-achingly depressing, however, it was actually, due to poetic direction, a mesmerizing, stylistic and somewhat uplifting story. The air was a little sweeter, after the viewing since life becomes more appreciated. This movie helps you appreciate the finer things in life and realize all that we take for granted.

Giving the film a surreal feel as though in a dream we witness a collage of memories, imaginations and actual dreams. From this, along with actual visits from loved ones we get an understanding of the man's life before the accident. It is filmed from the stroke victim's point of view. You see exactly what he sees, such as when his eye gets weak and things get blurry. We are also exposed to the man's thoughts as we hear him talking to the people about his feelings and what he wants to say despite being mute, and not being heard by the people. His thoughts give realness to the character and show us that he is still human. He even finds humor in his situation and says, to the nurse that doesn't hear him, "you need to get a sense of humor".

Overall a message about life. At the peak of this mans life an extremely severe paralysis befalls him. At first understandably pitying himself he is able to find some humor in his situation, (and parts of the movie actually make you laugh) and then inspiration. Inspiration stemming from realization that his imagination and memory are in tact. He can feel good using his mind and can even be creative and productive.


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