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

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Universal acclaim- based on 158 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
    Schnabel's film is so steeped in the visual that it is surely the purest of cinema.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    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
    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: 44 out of 50
  2. Negative: 3 out of 50
  1. JF
    May 4, 2008
    Brilliant on every level. One of the most effective and affecting films I have ever seen.
  2. RandyM
    Nov 15, 2008
    Utterly stunning. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a beautiful and powerful experience that should not be missed.
  3. Paul
    Mar 20, 2008
    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. Collapse
  4. Sep 29, 2010
    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
  5. Mar 31, 2014
    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
  6. KevinL.
    Dec 26, 2007
    this was a well-crafted movie with a lot of heart -- but does anyone else find the main character a bit of a chauvinist? He's one of those supposedly "suave" Frenchmen who are given licence to treat beautiful women like trash because...he's French?!? And some women just seem to swoon for this type of guy. It's beyond me. But, in the end, I do like this guy's imagination, his relationship with his father is very touching, and he obviously loves his son. It's a great movie, I just wouldn't wish this creep on any woman I know. Expand
  7. AnonymousMC
    Jan 13, 2008
    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 .)

See all 50 User Reviews


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