The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 175 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 175

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User Reviews

  1. AS
    Jun 9, 2008
    6
    A moving story, a good movie. Not exceptional anyway.
  2. BethC.
    Jan 18, 2008
    6
    The cinematography was noteworthy, at first showing us the world from the hero's viewpoint. There was some good acting, and it is especially good to see Max von Sydow in a non-villianous role. Yet somehow the movie left me cold. It isn't only because it was sometimes a very difficult film to watch. It just became too tedious and too repetitious (how many more times did we need The cinematography was noteworthy, at first showing us the world from the hero's viewpoint. There was some good acting, and it is especially good to see Max von Sydow in a non-villianous role. Yet somehow the movie left me cold. It isn't only because it was sometimes a very difficult film to watch. It just became too tedious and too repetitious (how many more times did we need to hear the alphabet recited), and I kept looking at my watch, waiting for it to end. Expand
  3. JeffJ.
    Feb 16, 2008
    6
    While the story is moving and genuinely tragic, I found the movie plodding. Watching it did make me think of what I would want should the same fate find me. I'm not sure why he was so admired and loved by the hospital staff; the film did not make that clear.
  4. JoJoJ
    Jan 14, 2008
    5
    While the story itself is "inspirational" and "incredible," I did not connect with the film. I understand the task of blinking out a book is insanely difficult and this man was brave and I am in awe of him. But he didn;t seem like that noble of a man in life ... abandoning his kids, putting Celine through that scene at the hospital when his mistress calls. Why didn't he blink out While the story itself is "inspirational" and "incredible," I did not connect with the film. I understand the task of blinking out a book is insanely difficult and this man was brave and I am in awe of him. But he didn;t seem like that noble of a man in life ... abandoning his kids, putting Celine through that scene at the hospital when his mistress calls. Why didn't he blink out "CALL BACK TOMORROW" ?? And the first 20 minutes wer so disorienting with teh in and out of first person focus that I almost had to leave b/c I was physically uncomfortable. I understand that was the director's intent ... but it doesn't make it any less unpleasant. Collapse
  5. BeteN
    Jan 20, 2008
    5
    Long, uncomfortable and absent of pathos.
  6. EricS.
    Feb 4, 2008
    5
    Half of this visually stunning but ultimately empty film is literally spent inside the head of a man suffering from "locked-in syndrome." Ironically, the viewer never gets much of an idea of who he is as a person. The other characters are even more undeveloped. If you consider yourself a film geek you will love Diving Bell as it is truly a unique cinematic experience. If you want a Half of this visually stunning but ultimately empty film is literally spent inside the head of a man suffering from "locked-in syndrome." Ironically, the viewer never gets much of an idea of who he is as a person. The other characters are even more undeveloped. If you consider yourself a film geek you will love Diving Bell as it is truly a unique cinematic experience. If you want a satisfying story look elsewhere, perhaps to the book of the same title. Expand
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. The film is a masterpiece in which “locked-in” syndrome becomes the human condition.
  2. 100
    Schnabel’s movie, based on the calm and exquisite little book that Bauby wrote in the hospital, is a gloriously unlocked experience, with some of the freest and most creative uses of the camera and some of the most daring, cruel, and heartbreaking emotional explorations that have appeared in recent movies.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    80
    Most compelling in its attempts to re-create the experience of paralysis onscreen, gorgeously lensed pic morphs into a dreamlike collage of memories and fantasies, distancing the viewer somewhat from Bauby's consciousness even as it seeks to take one deeper.