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Diving Bell and the Butterfly
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Learn more about Diving Bell and the Butterfly:

Format: DVD
Sku: 206929992
UPC: 786936750119
UPC 14: 00786936750119
Category Keywords: France  Theatrical Release  True Story
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Family & Kids
Winner - Golden Globe Awards - Best Picture of the Year (Foreign Language) - Best Director (Julian Schnabel).
From Miramax Films, acclaimed director Julian Schnabel, and the screenwriter of The Pianist comes a remarkable and inspiring true story about the awesome power of imagination. Experience the triumphant tale of renowned editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, a man whose love of life and soaring vision shaped his will to achieve a life without boundaries. You'll soon discover why David Denby of The New Yorker calls The Diving Bell and the Butterfly "nothing less than the rebirth of the cinema."

"...a lively exploration of consciousness and a soaring ode to liberation.  Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
"...a story of physical entrapment and spiritual renewal into exhilarating images.  David Ansen, Newsweek
"...a gloriously unlocked experience, with some of the freest and most creative uses of the camera...  David Denby, The New Yorker
"...a masterpiece in which "locked-in" syndrome becomes the human condition.  David Edelstein, New York Magazine
"Amalric is extraordinary, creating a character literally without moving a muscle.  Ken Fox, TV Guide
"...a rhapsodic adaptation of a memoir, a visual marvel that wraps its subject in screen romanticism without romanticizing his affliction.  Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"...speaks of something far more elemental than mere filmmaking skill: This is what movies, at their best, can be.  Stephanie Zacharek,

Editor's Note
Celebrated painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel's third feature finds him reaching new artistic heights with this audacious and personal biopic, based on the best-selling memoir of the same name. The film tells the remarkable tale of Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), the world-renowned editor of French ELLE magazine, who suffered a stroke and was paralyzed by the inexplicable "locked in" syndrome at the age of 43. Bauby's only way of communicating with the outside world was by blinking with one eye, and after several dedicated helpers--a string of impossibly beautiful women (Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josee Croze, Olatz Lopez Garamendia, Anne Consigny)--helped him to speak through this seemingly irrelevant gesture, he began to produce the words that would form his memoir. Along the way, as he swam in and out of consciousness, memories from his past swelled into the present, resulting in a cinematic experience that is at once heartbreaking and hopeful. Schnabel somehow manages to convey Bauby's internal life with remarkable clarity, employing first-person perspective, striking cinematography (by the always great Janusz Kaminski), and Amalric's pained, life-affirming monologues. The result is a wholly original experience, a painful and tender portrait of a life that is made all the more exhilarating because of its close proximity to death.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, French, Dubbed & Subtitled, Subtitled

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Video Release Date Release Date: 12/29/2009
Video Play Time Running Time: 112 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2007
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 5596703
Video UPC UPC: 00786936750119
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: French
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: French
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  1.85:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - DVD Review
By: Scott Gwin Cinema Blend DVD Reviews
Published on: 4/21/2008 8:07 AM
Jean-Dominique Bauby had it all: a loving family, an invigorating career and a passion for living life. And it all changed in the blink of an eye, no pun intended. But, I get ahead of myself. Following a massive stroke Bauby found himself the victim of locked-in syndrome, a condition where he could see and hear everything around him, but was unable to move anything but a few facial muscles. His only means of communicating was blinking his left eye. the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Emmanuelle Seigner
Video Cast Info Marie-Josee Croze
Video Cast Info Mathieu Amalric
Video Cast Info Max von Sydow
Video Cast Info Janusz Kaminski - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Jean-Dominique Bauby - Based On Novel By
Video Cast Info Julian Schnabel - Director
Video Cast Info Juliette Welfling - Editor
Video Cast Info Kathleen Kennedy - Producer
Video Cast Info Laurent Ott - Production Designer
Video Cast Info Michel Eric - Production Designer
Video Cast Info Paul Cantelon - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Pierre Grunstein - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Ronald Harwood - Screenplay


Winner (2008)
   Video Award Name British Academy Awards, Ronald Harwood, Best Screenplay - Adapted
   Video Award Name Golden Globe, Julian Schnabel, Best Director - Motion Picture
   Video Award Name Golden Globe, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Best Foreign Language Film
   Video Award Name Independent Spirit, Janusz Kaminski, Best Cinematography
   Video Award Name Independent Spirit, Julian Schnabel, Best Director

Nominee (2008)
   Video Award Name Oscar, Janusz Kaminski, Best Achievement in Cinematography
   Video Award Name Oscar, Julian Schnabel, Best Achievement in Directing
   Video Award Name Oscar, Juliette Welfling, Best Achievement in Editing
   Video Award Name Oscar, Ronald Harwood, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Winner (2007)
   Video Award Name Cannes Film Festival, Julian Schnabel, Best Director
   Video Award Name Cannes Film Festival, Janusz Kaminski, Technical Grand Prize

Professional Reviews

Film Comment
"The result is like a precious art object -- crafted by a painter -- that through emotional wealth and visual invention amplifies the poignancy found on the page." 11/01/2007 p.69

Box Office
"[Schnabel] possesses an imaginative eye that avoids the obvious and mawkish." 12/01/2007 p.55

New York Times
"[Mr. Schnabel] demonstrates his own imaginative freedom in every frame and sequence, dispensing with narrative and expository conventions in favor of a wild, intuitive honesty." 11/30/2007

USA Today
3 stars out of 4 -- "[S]urrealistic and inventive. The film version of the best-selling memoir THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY is visually arresting and a tribute to the power of imagination..." 11/30/2007

Rolling Stone
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[Schnabel's] best film yet, a high-wire act of visual daring and unquenchable spirit." 12/13/2007 p.142

Entertainment Weekly
"[The director] has scattered, layered, and shuffled images to create a very specific universe as sensual as the subject himself described it in hard-won words." -- Grade: A- 12/21/2007 p.56

Los Angeles Times
"[The] imaginative and sensitive film, starring France's gifted Mathieu Amalric, is simultaneously uplifting and melancholy, suffused with an unexpected sense of possibility as much as the inevitable sense of loss." 11/30/2007

4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he visual style itself becomes the key element that allows us to understand and admire the way that Bauby's mental vivacity overcomes his physical limitations." 02/01/2008 p.48

Sight and Sound
"[A] delicate and finely judged film....Janusz Kaminski's impressionistic cinematography can't help but seem refreshing..." 02/01/2008 p.61

5 stars out of 5 -- "Schnabel has transposed the book thoughtfully and successfully....It's an inspiring and profoundly moving experience." 03/01/2008 p.120

Wall Street Journal
"Julian Schnabel's magnificent French-language film, like its true-life subject, transcends reality's prison with surreal buoyancy." 05/24/2012

ReelViews 9 of 10
For many people, there is no hell more unimaginable than having a healthy, active mind trapped in a paralyzed husk of a body. Some of those in this situation seek a quick end to their misery (as was the case with Ramon Sampedro, whose tale was dramatized in the 2004 feature, The Sea Inside); others fight tooth and nail to regain even the smallest foothold into the life they once knew. With The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, painter-turned-director Julian Schnabel not only wants to narrate the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby; he wants the audience to become immersed in Bauby's world. To this end, he employs cinematographic techniques in ways that have not previously been used in a mainstream, narrative feature. As a result, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly can at times be an unsettling experience...The Diving Bell and the Butterfly triumphs because of its honesty and its refusal to allow the character to wallow in self-pity. Approached differently, this could have been a downer, but Schnabel wanted the film to act as an affirmation of life. He wants us to leave the theater appreciating what we have and what we can experience. Do not be dissuaded by the subject matter. This is a special motion picture that achieves its higher agenda of doing much more than idly plucking at a few heartstrings. - James Berardinelli

Chicago Sun-Times 10 of 10
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" is a film about a man who experiences the catastrophe I most feared during my recent surgeries: "locked-in syndrome," where he is alive and conscious but unable to communicate with the world. My dread, I think, began when I was a boy first reading Edgar Allan Poe's "The Premature Burial" at an age much too young to contemplate such a possibility...The lead performance by Mathieu Amalric exists in two ways, as the unmoving man in bed and the vital man in his memories and fantasies. In that way it is fundamentally different from Daniel Day-Lewis' work in "My Left Foot," about a man who could move only a toe. At least he could lurch and groan and cry. Both films find the inevitable solution to their challenge, and the right actors to meet them...Janusz Kaminski, the cinematographer, is in large part responsible for freeing the film from its own dangers of being locked in. From the cloudy opening POV shots of Jean-Dominique regaining consciousness, Kaminski fills the screen with life and beauty, so that it's not at all as depressing as it sounds...At the end we are left with the reflection that human consciousness is the great miracle of evolution, and all the rest (sight, sound, taste, hearing, smell, touch) are simply a toolbox that consciousness has supplied for itself. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Seigner,Emmanuelle
Product attributeLabel:   Buena Vista Home Video
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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