Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
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Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"What's fascinating is that it is the very restrictions the story imposes on a director that allow Schnabel to turn it into such an eerie stunner of a movie."
‑ Bob Mondello, NPR.org
"An exquisite metaphor for the redemptive power of cinema. Without an ounce of cheap sentiment, this true story is as profoundly moving and dreamily beautiful as any film in recent memory."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"An inventive, challenging, at times emotionally bracing film, audaciously staged and laudably anti-clichéd in its character particulars, yet destined to be more admired than beloved."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Triumph of the human spirit to the Miramax, predictable in its crowd-pleasing, middlebrow vulgarity but with a few inventive, free-floating passages"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Movies are a lot more than a bunch of pictures, no matter how ravishing, and the strong cast is key here, especially the three women who dominate Bauby's life."
‑ Bob Westal, Bullz-Eye.com
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is one of the best movies of 2007, but I'd argue it's also the one most in tune with what this season of goodwill and tolerance is supposed to be all about."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"It's a subject and a film that perfectly blends the tragic with the triumphant."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Julian Schnabel and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski fundamentally retool the template for the biopic to create one of the greatest portrayals of the mind's eye ever put to film. A discomforting but inspiring struggle for one enduring, final expression."
‑ Nick Rogers, Suite101.com
"[Schnabel is] drawn to the plight of the imagination struggling against limits, and Bauby's Beckett-like extremity has inspired his best film to date and the best film of the year."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
"Of all the movies generating award buzz this season, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was the most surprising to me and perhaps the most special."
‑ Scott Nash, Three Movie Buffs
"Optimistically, Schnabel would like to fill such an ordeal with color, music and hot nurses. Wedding himself to Bauby's real trauma, though, seems beyond him."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"Profoundly moving."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"This uncommon story about an uncommon man is gentle, it is patient, it is compassionate and -- from a technical standpoint -- it is stunning."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"Una película realmente conmovedora que logra trasladar a hermosas y sugestivas imágenes la experiencia real de un hombre paralizado física aunque no mentalmente."
‑ Enrique Buchichio, Uruguay Total
"The film is certainly rich in imagery, and its immersion into the subjective is a daringly successful conceit, but it never quite pulls all the pieces together."
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk

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