Metascore
92

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

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 157 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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. JF
    May 4, 2008
    10
    Brilliant on every level. One of the most effective and affecting films I have ever seen.
  2. RandyM
    Nov 15, 2008
    10
    Utterly stunning. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a beautiful and powerful experience that should not be missed.
  3. Paul
    Mar 20, 2008
    10
    I dont like many films. They bore me. I want real stories. The art is in the story-telling not the action. A good story is not one whose content is WOW. It's one which is well told. A good story teller can captivate you with tales of how he does his grocery shopping. The plot of this film is simple. Man enters coma. Man tries to get better. Man writes book. The End. No guns. No fighting. No sex. Beautifully told. The French have a nack for producing films with a strong artistic bent. Beautifully shot. Dripping with philosophyical weight. This is one such movie. Every 5 minutes a new seed for thought is planted, allowed to flourish and cut down. I implore you to watch this film if you have a concentration span of more than 5 minutes. Typical of criticisms are responses like those ushered by the Time magazine reviewer where he "began to hear a subversive voice whispering in my ear, and what it was saying was, "Could you blink a little faster, pal?" " I cant help but notice the irony when the film questions our "want it all, now" culture by contrasting his life as the editor of a superficial magazine with one where he is forced to think. Indeed it is in this contrast that much character development lies. In subtleties rather than plotlines reminiscent of epic Shakesperean tragedies. Go see it. Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. BillyS.
    Feb 2, 2008
    8
    How do you make a painfully sad story and turn it into a beautiful life-affirming movie? Answer-Julian Schnabel. The Diving Bell and The Butterfly is the masterpiece everyone knew that Schnabel was destined to make after Basquiat and Before Night Falls introduced his work in a new medium. Once again he has cast the movie impeccably and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski films a good part of the movie through the one working eye of Jean-Dominique Bauby that proves he doesn't need Speilberg to get an Oscar nomination, which like Scnabels for Director and Ronald Harwoods for Screenplay, are totally deserving. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is as close you'll get to "Film as Art" as you'll ever get. Expand
  7. AnonymousMC
    Jan 13, 2008
    0
    letter by letter is tedious beyond reason...instead of walking out, of the theatre
    I sat there working out faster ways to communicate.

    The reviewers that drew me into seeing this most boring movie of the year must themselves be locked
    into the syndrome.
    in that situation...we do have the game 20 questions (animal, mineral , vegetable .)
    Expand

See all 49 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Film Critics Pick the Best Movies of the Decade

    Film Critics Pick the Best Movies of the Decade Image
    Published: January 3, 2010
    Dozens of film critics have made their lists of the best films of the past ten years, and we've tallied the results.
  2. Ten Years of Metacritic: The Best (and Worst) Movies of the Decade

    Ten Years of Metacritic: The Best (and Worst) Movies of the Decade Image
    Published: December 17, 2009
    Our best of the decade coverage continues with a look at the past ten years in cinema. While the decade's best-reviewed movie may not have been a commercial blockbuster (or even in English), our lists turn up plenty of recognizable names in addition to obscure gems you may have missed.