The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: November 30, 2007
DVD Release Date: April 29, 2008
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Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Breathtaking visuals and dynamic performances make The Diving Bell and the Butterfly a powerful biopic.

Bob Mondello

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.

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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel

It's a subject and a film that perfectly blends the tragic with the triumphant.

Annie Wagner
The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

Julian Schnabel's first film since Before Night Falls is a gorgeous, canny, and sensual adaptation of a most unlikely story.

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Peter Howell
Toronto Star

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.

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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader

Profoundly moving.

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

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.

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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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.

Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News

Director Julian Schnabel uses his skill as a painter to assemble a collage of fantastical images to reveal the exquisite physical wreck that Bauby has become.

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Nick Rogers

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.

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Flixster Audience Score: 92% Flixster User Reviews
Dan Schultz
One of the most stunning emotional knockouts recorded in cinematic history concerning an editor (Mathieu Amalric) who suffers a massive stroke, but remains… More
Chris Weber
Based on his memoirs of the same name, this is the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the one-time editor of Elle Magazine who, after a debilitating stroke, became… More
Daniel Perry
Bold first-person film-making reigns in this true story that reminds us that our lives can be changed completely at any given moment: a well-to-do magazine… More
Matthew Slaven
Through brilliant use of the medium, we are given an acutely visceral impression of being inside the useless body of Jean-Dominic Bauby, all of us sharing in… More
Lucas Martins
Terrific! That's the thing I was talking about!
paul oh
Cinematography in this film was beautiful and different. The story was rich and deep. Its truly a masterpiece!