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Daniel Corleone's Movie Reviews (1731)

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Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The ( Scaphandre et le papillon, Le ) 
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly review
4/4 stars

The story of "Jean-Do" Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), editor of elle Magazine who suffers from locked-in syndrome due to a stroke. He narrates how he is treated at a hospital in Berck-sur-Mer, France. It shows who his visitors (friend who was kidnapped in Beirut/mother of her children) were, his relationship with his father, how he communicates thru a speech therapist (Henriette Durand) and imaginations. His frustrations were also showed such as the simplicity of not talking to anybody on Sundays; a TV set being on and the ability to react to a gorgeous therapist showing tongue exercises. He dictates what he sees and experienced in his personal life. Bauby had the tenacity to create a book where he can leave his legacy.

Engaging from beginning to end, the movie never dulls as each frame is a work of poetry rarely seen these days. An earnest performance from Amalric and rest of the artists, striking cinematography, lively score and marvelous screenplay made this award winning biographical drama. Exceptional lines from the film: Roussin – “Hold fast to the human inside of you, and you'll survive.” Papinou – “Having a mistress is no excuse for leaving the mother of your children; the world has lost its values.” Bauby – “I decided to stop pitying myself. Other than my eye, two things aren't paralyzed, my imagination and my memory.” Themes of personal imprisonment (he and his father), hope (the book, ability to express himself and butterfly), patience (those who helped him communicate), relationships (father, children, family and new friends in the hospital) and regrets (not calling his friend and marrying the mother of his children symbolized by the diving bell) were illustrated vividly. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly shows realistic style of direction with high quality editing, acting and touching messages that anyone with a heart will definitely find this drama appealing.


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