The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Image
Metascore
92

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

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 181 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 physicalThe 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

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 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.
  2. The movie has done what those who've cherished the book might have thought impossible -- intensified its singular beauty by roving as free and fearlessly as Bauby's mind did.
  3. The film is a masterpiece in which “locked-in” syndrome becomes the human condition.
  4. In a film that overwhelmingly avoids happy-faced pronouncements, this one sticks out.
  5. Simultaneously uplifting and melancholy, suffused with an unexpected sense of possibility as much as the inevitable sense of loss.
  6. 88
    He even calls the majestic view from one of the hospital landings his Cinecittà, after the legendary Italian film studio. The movie is a Cinecittà of the mind.
  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 53
  2. Negative: 4 out of 53
  1. Licardio
    May 4, 2008
    10
    This movie is beautiful. This story makes you appreciate life more and as you see it, you cannot help but wonder if you are really taking This movie is beautiful. This story makes you appreciate life more and as you see it, you cannot help but wonder if you are really taking full advantage of your own life. When you see someone in the state that the main character is in, you then realize that life is very fragile and that love, imagination, friends and family is all that really matters. Go see this movie and then take a look at your life for a minute and wonder what can be acheived with it starting tommorow. This flick is the best I have seen in a long time, I certainly hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I hope it can create a possitive change in your life. Expand
  2. JimmyS
    Dec 22, 2008
    10
    Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric) has given us Julian Schnabel
  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 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 imaginationDefinitely 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 andThe 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 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.
    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 53 User Reviews

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