Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josee Croze and Max Von Sydow

Rated: R for nudity, sexual content and some language
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: November 30 , 2007 Released by: Miramax

While we expect the first run feature Awake with Hayden Christensen, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly brings us the experience of Jean Dominique Bauby who described in a book dictated by eye movement what life is like when his only means of communication is movement of his left eye.

In French with sub-tittles Le scaphandre et le papillon describes motivations, frustration, hopes and dreams of a man who experiences a massive stroke at the age of 42 that left him with a condition called locked-in syndrome, leaving blinking his eye his only means of communication.

This film won best prize for director Julian Schnabel at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It's the diving bell and butterflies that continue to fill his imagination and dreams both symbols of free floating which he can never hope to achieve. His imagination reaches from sexual anxiety for his wife, girl friend and true symbiosis with his assigned scribe who interprets his eye movements into letters, words, sentences and eventually a full book of his experience locked in his body.

We see visits to Lourdes, a fly that won't move from his nose, all while he receives extremely fine care which included baths in pools, exercise, outdoor therapy and of course his special secretary writer.

An interesting journey from real life is heart rendering, factual and without sympathy. A made up script simply cannot compete with this reality of a man who remained creative even when captured without the option of hope, communication or even moving any other part of his body to the end of his life.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly B+             B+

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