Saturday, December 12, 2009

Capsule Review: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

Originally conceived as an American film starring Johnny Depp, this adaptation of Jean-Dominique Bauby's autobiography – focusing on the stroke that paralyzed his entire body except for one eye, which led to him dictating the book through an incredibly laborious set of blinks – works because of its willingness to embrace the little details of the man's recovery. Devised by Julian Schnabel (Basquiat ) as a way to deal with his father's death, the film begins with several first person scenes dealing with Deau attempting to come to terms with his terrifying new situation. What could become tedious in the hands of someone less skilled becomes fascinating as we witness the slow growth of communication while Jean deals with his past one blink at a time. A testament to humanity and its ability to endure.

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