Friday, August 22, 2008

Julian Schnabel's "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (2007)

Right from the start of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly you can just tell that it's going to be a special film. Diving Bell is the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor of Elle, and his struggle to come back and communicate from a stroke that left all but he left eye paralyzed. This fascinating and heart warming story is wonderfully acted by Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, and the rest of the cast. I give a special nod to one of my favorite actors, Max von Sydow, who gives all out emotional performance as Jean-Do's father. Max proves he still has what he had during his Bergman days as he reprises all the emotion he always was able to portray.

That connects me beautifully to my next positive comment on this film. Julian Schnabel is a special director. If this film is any indication, he's going to be huge. I couldn't help but feel like I WAS watching one of the classic Ingmar Bergman films that are simply about people in strife and their relationships. Schnabel creatively shoots a lot of this film out of Jean-Do's left eye which gives it a signature touch. I felt Schnabel wonderfully handled how he delved into Jean-Do's past life giving us a little background about him, his current and former lovers, and his relationship with his father and his children. Everyone was as developed as they needed to be.

All in all, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is one of the best films of 2007 and shouldn't be missed by everyone. If you have a heart, you'll be moved by this film. It captivated me and it should do no less to you. A must see.


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