The MichaelVox Movie Review Weblog
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THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
January 30, 2008
San Jose CA -- Santana Row
France / USA
Biography / Drama
Let Your Imagination Set You Free.
This one is pretty amazing. A wealthy Elle magazine editor has a stroke and when he wakes up from his two week coma, he can only move his left eye. All his mental faculties are working, but the power to speak or move is gone. He is visited by several French goddesses who help with speech and rehabilitation. The speech therapist develops a system of communication whereby she'll recite an alphabet and he'll blink when she gets to the correct letter, which she then writes down.
This is not the fastest way to write a book, but he's got nothing but time. The film is shot in such a way as to be inside his brain while he's waking from the coma. The camera is out of focus and people have to lean in for us to see them. We hear his interior voice while those around him hear nothing.
This is an incredibly touching and fascinating true story.
--Director Julian Schnabel
--Adapted Screenplay by Ronald Harwood