182: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (PG-13) - 2007 - Runtime: 112 minutes
Starring: Mathieu Amalric
Director: Julian Schnabel

My cousin had suggested this movie to me on facebook when I first started, but I've been putting off my suggestions for a while. I wish I hadn't, because this is one of the most beautiful and poetic movies I've seen in a long time.

The movie opens up with the viewpoint of Jean-Do who has just come out of a coma. He can barely see and for the first twenty or so minutes, the movie is limited to his two eyes (one of which isn't in good shape and eventually gets sewn up). It's a very different approach to the movie - it's actually great because it makes you feel so claustrophobic and you at least get an inkling of what Jean-Do was experiencing. Jean-Do had it all - a great job as editor of Elle magazine, a wife and two kids, even a mistress. But one day he suffers from a stroke that leaves him completely paralyzed except for his eyes. And with that, the movie opens about his struggles to cope with his new life and trying to communicate only by blinking.

When I say it's poetic, I'd have to say the way the film is shot. The movie is very pretty and the way the camera is basically Jean-Do's eye is very effective. There's a lot of inner dialogue coming from Jean-Do and it's all quite sad. But gradually, he learns to cope and see his life as a fresh start after all the mean and hurtful things he's done. It's a truly moving and emotional story that is well-shot and is perfectly made with some great music. It's amazing that with the help of a therapist, he was able to write his own memoir and this was the inspiration for the movie. I loved every minute of it!

Rating: Own It!

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