The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

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Just to demonstrate my utter Philistinism: the movie is (as I type) #204 on IMDB's list of the Top 250 Movies of All Time; it gets a stunning 93% on the Tomatometer; and I didn't think it was all that hot. Someone with a more refined cinematic taste (like you, dear reader) might like it more.

It's the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor of (French) Elle magazine, felled by a massive stroke in 1995 at the age of 42. He body is in near-total paralysis, but his mental functions are unimpaired. He learns to communicate by blinking his left eye in response to letters called out by his therapist. He uses this technique to write an entire book (on which the movie is based). And then—sorry, spoiler is upcoming—he dies.

Much of the movie is shot from Bauby's point of view, meant to give an idea of what it must be like to be trapped inside a broken body in this way; the cinematography for this is inventive. Bauby is played by Mathieu Amalric, who I liked as the Bond-villain Dominic Greene in Quantum of Solace.

Last Modified 2012-10-08 12:58 PM EST