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"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

December 06, 2007|Carina Chocano

The last thing you expect from a movie about a man who can't move any part of his body save for his left eyelid is for it to be expansive, gorgeous and uplifting, but that's exactly what Julian Schnabel's remarkable "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" turns out to be. The movie is based on the memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby -- the editor in chief of French Elle who, in his early 40s, suffered a massive stroke that left his mind intact but "locked in" his paralyzed body -- which he blinked out letter by letter to a patient amanuensis. Mathieu Amalric plays Bauby, and Max von Sydow is heartbreaking as the father who loses his son in the twilight of his life.

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