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9,113 Ratings

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Le scaphandre et le papillon

Directed by Julian Schnabel
France, United States, 2007
Biography, Drama


Based on true events, this film tells the story of wealthy magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who after a stroke is left almost entirely paralyzed. Unable to move or speak, he retreats into his mind, but after learning to communicate by blinking his left eye, he begins to tell his story.

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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Directed by Julian Schnabel

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2007 | 2 wins including: Best Director

Academy Awards

2008 | 4 nominations including: Best Achievement in Directing

Independent Spirit Awards

2008 | 2 wins including: Best Director

2008 | 2 nominations including: Best Feature

Critics reviews

Schnabel’s visual essay about physical and spiritual isolation equals the scholar Elaine Scarry’s pioneering 1985 study, “The Body in Pain.” And, as if this weren’t work enough, Schnabel also provides us with a distinctly erotic, emotionally profound catalogue of the nurturing graces of women.
August 12, 2008
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Schnabel’s sleepy, drifty, at times morbidly funny film tackles something more ambitious, by getting into the head of someone who’s trying to get out of there himself.
November 29, 2007
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Schnabel is nothing if not loyal to his subjects, one of his great assets as a filmmaker. And this spectacle of the fragility of the body and (by virtue of our alignment with its point of view) ourselves attempts to make its audience hyperaware of technique without sacrificing conventional narrative clarity.
August 21, 2007
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