Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Random Movie Review: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007 French w/ English Subtitles)
Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze

Whoa, I've started to compile a backlog of movies to review, so I should hop on that and churn out as many as I can this week to catch up.

This lovely drama-docu-biopic is based on the book of the same name (le scaphandre et le papillon, en francais), details the life of Jean-Dominique Bauby a hot to trot editor who suffers a life-altering stroke. The stroke sends him into a condition called 'locked-in', where he is able to think normally, but loses control of all bodily functions except the ability to blink his eyelid. With the help of a speech therapist who has developed a system to communicate using a board of letters sorted from most commonly used to least, he begins to be able to express himself again. He employs a very patient note-taker, Claude, who pain-stakingly dictates his story, which becomes the book.

The use of flashback and POV filming make this incredibly interesting and opens up a whole new cinematic style that is breathtaking. Parts of the movie were hard to watch and it did lag a bit in other times, but as a whole, it is quite enjoyable. A note on the Wikipedia page said that Johnny Depp was originally tagged for the role. I am so happy that quirky self-righteous guy was busy doing something else (note: I enjoyed his work before, but he either oversaturated himself or believed too much that he needed to be ever so quirky in every role and I gradually stopped caring).

As it stands, however, he did not leave his mark on this film and it gets a solid 8.25/10 from me.

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