Monday, August 5, 2013
Review: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
A Beautiful Foreign Film About A Man Who Moved People By Blinking His Eyes
This is the first foreign film that I have done a review for and probably the second film that I have reviewed about a person who has a disability, with the first being The Sessions. But The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is another film that I would call a masterpiece, which is a title that I rarely ever give the films that I review.
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly is based on a true story about a man named Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric) who was an editor of the French magazine known as ELLE and suffered a stroke before he was eventually diagnosed with a rare disorder known as "locked-in syndrome", where his entire body is completely paralyzed and he could only communicate by blinking his left eye while his right eye is stitched shut.
What I Liked About It:
First off, I have to give major props to the director Julian Schnabel and the cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. In about the first 40 minutes of the film, they shoot it from Bauby's point of view, making it feel like you are him and you feel what he feels. The film even takes us into his mind as we see his inner fantasies and memories of his past, and as he his narrating his thoughts. So, bravo to Schnabel and Kaminski, and I'm glad they received Oscar nominations for their marvelous work on this film.
Another thing that really impressed me was the performance from Mathieu Amalric. What impressed me was how he was able to exhibit the pain that Bauby is going through while he spends most of the movie unable to move his body. To me, that has to be a really difficult task to pull off so I applaud him for his terrific performance.
What I Didn't Like About It:
Overall, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a masterfully-done work of art with outstanding direction and cinematography mixed with a subtle yet intense powerhouse performance from Mathieu Amalric. When it was released, it received many accolades and I could not be happier that it did, as it pleases me when movies like this which have meaningful stories to tell and try to touch our spirits in some way get plenty of recognition.