On December 8, 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor in chief of fashion magazine French Elle suffered a massive stroke, leaving him prisoner inside his own body, only able to communicate with the blinking of his left eye. Inside the Diving Bell, as he referred to his body, his memory and imagination, the Butterfly, remained untouched by the tragedy. Using a special alphabet, Bauby went on to defy the odds and fulfil his dream of writing a book, showing the amazing resilience of the human spirit.
Moving, challenging and original
- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly review by Tim from London
Brilliant and highly original film about a man with 'locked in syndrome', which is a rare condition in which a person is aware and awake, but cannot move or communicate due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body. Don't expect a dull amd overly worthy Hollywood-like portrayal of disability ala Awakenings or A Beautiful Mind. This is told completely from the person's point of view. Mathieu Amalric brilliantly portrays a man who is flawed (he cheated on his wife and continues to reject her), loving, vain and sometimes suicidal and often humurous (especially making fun of his disability) - ie not just a 'disabled person' but a fully rounded human being. This is achieved through voiceovers, flashbacks and fantasy sequences. There is also a great supporting cast featuring many of the leading actors from French cinema. Although some scenes drag a little and the jerky camera movements are overused - this is a brilliant and very unique film.
6 out of 7 members found this review helpful.
- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly review by JD
The idea of being "locked in" is superbly projected by skillful blends of film design. The feeling is made possible to imagine and find empathy. Eventually even to feel hope within despair. A difficult area for cinema well captivated.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
What if it happened to me
- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly review by dw
This cleverly produced film allows you to view the world from the one eyed perspective of a person who suffers from locked in syndrome.Moving and thought provoking. Makes you feel as if you would never grumble about the weather again.