Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 150 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is the remarkable true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, a successful and charismatic editor-in-chief of French Elle, who believes he is living his life to its absolute fullest when a sudden stroke leaves him in a life-altered state. While the physical challenges of Bauby's fate leave him with little hope for the future, he begins to discover how his life's passions, his rich memories and his newfound imagination can help him achieve a life without boundaries. (Miramax Film) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    100
    Schnabel's film is so steeped in the visual that it is surely the purest of cinema.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    Amalric is extraordinary, creating a character literally without moving a muscle.
  3. Director Julian Schnabel and screenwriter Ronald Harwood have performed a small miracle in adapting for the screen Jean-Dominique Bauby's autobiography The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
  4. 91
    Mathieu Amalric, best known as an arms dealer in "Munich." In a role that strips him entirely of vanity and denies him virtually every expressive tool, Amalric makes a genuinely touching impression.
  5. 90
    In his memoir Mr. Bauby performed a heroic feat of alchemy, turning horror into wisdom, and Mr. Schnabel, following his example and paying tribute to his accomplishment, has turned pity into joy.
  6. The film is more than laborious eye-blinking - it's also dazzling visually, its potent imagery conjured by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. But finally, Diving Bell is about something imperceptible: consciousness.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    50
    Still, somewhat shame-faced I have to admit that at some point in the film I began to hear a subversive voice whispering in my ear, and what it was saying was, "Could you blink a little faster, pal?"

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 49
  2. Negative: 3 out of 49
  1. Nov 17, 2012
    10
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly offers up a kind of harmonic tranquility that's just too good to resist. Watching it is like taking that hot shower after a long, debilitating day, and having that numbing ecstasy wash through your bones. Expand
  2. Sep 29, 2010
    9
    The Diving Bell and The Butterfly is seriously one of the best films I have ever seen, and I am just going to disregard anything anyone is going to say about it. I have never felt so emotional when watching a movie, it is truly beautifully miserable; Not to mention that the acting crew is brilliant. Expand
  3. Jun 13, 2011
    9
    Definitely one of the best films of the year. This film is very beautiful and moving. An idea is fresh and stunning. "Let your imagination set you free". Expand
  4. Nov 26, 2011
    8
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly paints a pretty picture that can be brought into a full length film. This inspirational feature is based on a true story about a man who becomes a vegetable for the rest of his life and somehow later can communicate by only blinking one eye, which leads him to pursue his imagination in writing a story. The motifs and symbolism in the film keeps you thinking at first, but once you analyze those motifs, you will understand perfectly as to why those themes are there, including to add the things from the title of the film to the actual plot itself. The use of the camera movement and spaces are natural and unique compared to a typical Hollywood flick, though beware of many extreme-close ups and canted angles in this film if you have a fear of claustrophobic spaces. However those chosen spaces and shots are used for a reasonable purpose. For artistic filmmakers alike, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a must recommend feature to view. Expand
  5. BKM
    May 30, 2013
    8
    Right from the very first scene when Jean-Do awakes from a coma to learn that he is paralyzed and unable to speak, we are pulled right into the fear, grief and loneliness that he is enduring. But as he refuses to be a victim locked in his own body, we also share in his joy, love and hope and get a first hand account of his memories and imagination. A truly resonant film that takes you on a journey into one man's unbreakable spirit. Expand
  6. Jun 18, 2012
    8
    The French drama film provides an exceptionally powerful message that nothing is as precious as our consciousness through a miraculous and inspirational story of a guy who lost almost all of his physical senses except for only one, his consciousness. Despite how naturally the story progressed, the movie evokes such powerful inner subject of life that it is difficult not to be aware and realize the fact of how blessed we are to be born and be well at present time. An immensely inspirational film. Expand
  7. Mar 31, 2014
    8
    The cinematography is so beautiful, you just wish that the plot went deeper into the questions about life it raises. The storytelling's simplicity does not mirror the visuals' ambiguity. Expand

See all 49 User Reviews

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