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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, more...
Director: Julian Schnabel, Julian Schnabel
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Rating:
Studio: Miramax
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Biopics, France, Weepies
Running Time: 112 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Synopsis
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 (aka La Scaphandre et la Papillon), 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 (Basquiat) and adapted from the memoir by Ronald Harwood (Cromwell). The Schnabel/Harwood picture follows Bauby's story to the letter -- 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 -- 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. In Schnabel's picture, Mathieu Amalric tackles the difficult role of Bauby; the film co-stars Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Anne Consigny, and Patrick Chesnais. ~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A haunting, visually beautiful film by DanyaDanya April 30, 2008 - 2:26 PM PDT
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3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Based on Director Julian Schanbel's avant garde reputation in the art world,I was initially apprehensive about seeing an abstracted "artsy-fartsy" film. Nothing could have been further from the truth. This was an inspiring, soul-wrenching, and visually amazing masterwork. If you're a human being, you should see this.




GreenCine Member Rating
12345678910

(Average 8.18)
55 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2007
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Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
kraigpdx
Craig's Best Films of 2007 List
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These were all the films I thought stood out in a strong '07; as they arrive on DVD I'll add to this list. Detailed opinions on each of these films can be found on my full list: 15 Best of 2007
underdog

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