Review: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly


Director:Julian Schnabel

Cast:Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josee Croze

Running Time:112 Minutes


At the young age of 43 Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a stroke that damaged much of his brain. The result was that he woke up from a coma with lock-in syndrome, leaving him almost completely paralyzed and only able to communicate through the blinking of his right eye. Using that right eye Bauby blinked out his memoir, revealing the life within his interior world and his wild imagination. Taking his readers for the ride of their life Bauby won them over by telling his story from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to the wondrous worlds that only lived within his dreams.

Though the film was difficult to get into The Diving Bell and the Butterfly proved to be a truly miraculous story, full of amazing visuals and a truly inspirational lead, which all came together to make a truly incredible, must-see film!

The most amazing part of the whole film was its story. While many true stories tend to drag and become anti-climatic, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is truly spectacular as it introduces us to a young man, going through what no human should ever have to go through. We become one with Bauby as he struggles to overcome his difficult situation and become the man and father that he has always wanted to. And although the ending provides for a mixed feeling of relief/depression it is the rawness and reality of the story that makes everything okay.

However I have to admit that the story wasn't the only thing that was so great about this film. Mathieu Amalric uses emotion, achievement and persistence to win over audiences as he delivers a knock out performance as the paralyzed Bauby. His emotions and actions are real and the audience can't help but fall in love with him. From the time he first wakes up from his coma to the emotional visit by his son we feel for Bauby and his predicament. He quickly becomes a true inspiration to us all and even after the credits role you just can't get over his story and its effect on you.

In addition director Julian Schnabel was amazing as she captured every emotion, using the first person camera angle to truly grab the full effect that the coma has on Bauby. Her technique is different and at times forced; however I can't say enough about the faces and body language that was captured on screen. In one word it was truly brilliant!

In the end The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is one of those rare movies that will stay with you long after the credits roll. Using emotion and achievement the film excels beyond every expectation and serves as a reminder to us all to live our life day to day and to the fullest.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

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