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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:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 66 wins & 95 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jean-Do
... Céline
... Henriette Roi
... Claude
... Le Docteur Lepage
... Roussin
Olatz López Garmendia ... Marie Lopez
... Père Lucien et le Vendeur
... Joséphine
... Papinou
Gérard Watkins ... Le Docteur Cocheton
Théo Sampaio ... Théophile
Fiorella Campanella ... Céleste
Talina Boyaci ... Hortense
... 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:

€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
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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

Director Whit Stillman stated in a Q &A he had read the script before production had began and has wished ever since that he had directed the film himself. 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Blind (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Green Grass
(Tom Waits (as T. Waits) / Kathleen Brennan (as K. Brennan))
Performed by Tom Waits
© 2004 Jalma Music c/o BMG Music Publishing France
With the authorization of BMG Music Vision
© 2004 Anti, Inc. Courtesy of Anti, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Release Yourself From the Diving Bell and Free Like a Butterfly
3 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

The former France ELLE editor Jean-Dominique Bauby quoted his life as being trapped in a diving bell and free like a butterfly, and that was how he describes his life after a stroke left him only able to blink his left eye. The Diving Bell and The Butterfly has become the title of his memoirs, which has become a best seller which Bauby will never get to see.

American born director Julian Schnabel picked up the memoir and made it into a movie that will re-examine the way a person will view his life. From the way the movie was presented to the audience, it might seems to be difficult to digest, but if you watch them once again, you will find that the flow of the movie follows closely to what is written on the book.

The story begins with Jean Dominique (Mathieu Amalric) finding himself woke up in a hospital,unable to move his body. Upon hearing from the doctor that a stroke left him unable to move, except his left eye, he found himself trapped in a prison: his body. He describes his body as a diving bell, where death sentence prisoner would wore the diving bell and drowned in the sea. With doctors and therapists taking care of him, he found himself living without dignity.

With the help of Henriteet (Marie Jozee Croze), a speech therapist, she uses a unique method of communicating with Jean thru pronouncing the alphabets and Jean would form a word or sentence by blinking the eye. After getting to know her much more better, Jean found his way to survive thru the disabilities: imagination and beautiful memories. Both set his spirit free, and he feels like he is flying like a butterfly. And thus he began writing his memoirs of his life.

The story is told through the view from Jean's left eye and reaction in his mind after the stroke. This pulls the audience and the inner world of Jean closer, and audience could have a feel of putting themselves into Jean's shoes. From the effort the cast and crew puts in the movie, we can tell that the movie is follow everything accordingly to the book, without any adjustments.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is the movie that you need if you want to take a break from normal popcorn flicks, or a movie that makes you think through about yourself, and how you live life to the fullest.


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