8.0/10
101,225
195 user 270 critic

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

Le scaphandre et le papillon (original title)
PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 1 February 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed.

Director:

Julian Schnabel

Writers:

Ronald Harwood (screenplay), Jean-Dominique Bauby (book)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 67 wins & 101 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mathieu Amalric ... Jean-Do
Emmanuelle Seigner ... Céline
Marie-Josée Croze ... Henriette Roi
Anne Consigny ... Claude
Patrick Chesnais ... Le Docteur Lepage
Niels Arestrup ... Roussin
Olatz López Garmendia Olatz López Garmendia ... Marie Lopez
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Père Lucien et le Vendeur
Marina Hands ... Joséphine
Max von Sydow ... Papinou
Gérard Watkins Gérard Watkins ... Le Docteur Cocheton
Théo Sampaio Théo Sampaio ... Théophile
Fiorella Campanella Fiorella Campanella ... Céleste
Talina Boyaci Talina Boyaci ... Hortense
Isaach De Bankolé ... Laurent
Learn more

More Like This 

The Sea Inside I (2004)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The factual story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a thirty-year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas
Amour (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A woman assists her friend in arranging an illegal abortion in 1980s Romania.

Director: Cristian Mungiu
Stars: Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov
The Class (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau plays a version of himself as he negotiates a year with his racially mixed students from a tough Parisian neighborhood.

Director: Laurent Cantet
Stars: François Bégaudeau, Agame Malembo-Emene, Angélica Sancio
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas.

Director: Julian Schnabel
Stars: Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp, Olatz López Garmendia
A Prophet (2009)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison.

Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif
Drama | History | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. Who is responsible?

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi, Leonie Benesch
Run Lola Run (1998)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup
Departures (2008)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.

Director: Yôjirô Takita
Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Ryôko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Talk to Her (2002)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Rosario Flores, Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti
Caché (2005)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A married couple is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Bénichou
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A boy is raised by a Buddhist monk in an isolated floating temple where the years pass like the seasons.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Ki-duk Kim, Yeong-su Oh, Jong-ho Kim
Edit

Storyline

Forty-three year old Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby - Jean-Do to his friends - awakens not knowing where he is. He is in a Berck-sur-Mer hospital, where he has been for the past several weeks in a coma after suffering a massive stroke. Although his cognitive facilities are in tact, he quickly learns that he has what is called locked-in syndrome which has resulted in him being almost completely paralyzed, including not being able to speak. One of his few functioning muscles is his left eye. His physical situation and hospitalization uncomfortably bring together the many people in his life, including: Céline Desmoulins, his ex-lover and mother of his children; Inès, his current lover; and his aged father who he calls Papinou. Among his compassionate recuperative team are his physical therapist Marie, and his speech therapist Henriette. Henriette eventually teaches him to communicate using a system where he spells out words: she reads out the letters of the alphabet in ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Let your imagination set you free

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity, sexual content and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the movie, Bauby is visited by a friend named Roussin (Jean-Paul K in the book), about whom Bauby feels guilty as his friend was captured and held hostage in Beirut, Lebanon after Bauby gives Roussin his airline seat. In reality, although Jean-Paul K was indeed held hostage in Beirut, it was not due to having been given Bauby's seat. In the book, Bauby expresses guilt at never having contacted his friend upon his release, and there is no mention that the two met up again after Bauby's stroke. See more »

Goofs

Jean-Dominique shaves his father's mustache, removing the shaving cream. In the next shot, his mustache is covered with shaving cream again. In the following shot, the shaving cream is gone again. See more »

Quotes

Roussin: Hold fast to the human inside of you, and you'll survive.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Honey Pie
(uncredited)
by The Beatles
See more »

User Reviews

 
The films places you inside the author's head and keeps you there.
15 December 2007 | by forindcineSee all my reviews

Earlier this year, a good friend, avid reader and film buff informed me that one of her favorite books was the basis for a film which recently won awards at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. I knew nothing of the novel or the film so she offered me the book to read. I enjoyed the story but didn't completely appreciate its depth until I recently got a sneak peek at the film.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is about Jean-Dominique Bauby, (Mathieu Amalric) a popular editor of the French fashion magazine 'Elle.' At age 43 he is stricken with a stroke leaving him with lock-in syndrome, a medical condition that, except for his left eye, rendered him completely immobile. In fear of his right eye becoming "septic" doctors quickly stitched the eye shut.

This sealing of that eye is an early scene, which is so perfectly shot that it places you inside Bauby's head and body, and keeps you there for the entire film. You see the world as he views it while desiring to be free of the paralyzing feeling of a sinking diving bell. At other times, with his imagination, you find yourself fluttering as free as a butterfly.

Bauby wrote his story with the use of a unique sequence of letters specifically designed so he could blink his eye to communicate as he created every single word of his story.

This film is in no way depressing. The cinematography is brilliantly captured. Everyone was completely captivated by the screenplay as we experienced life deep inside Bauby's body, mind and soul. For the entire 2+ hours, you won't want to be anyplace else.


128 of 141 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 195 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

France | USA

Language:

French

Release Date:

1 February 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$75,721, 2 December 2007

Gross USA:

$6,003,227

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,780,116
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed