The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

This BAFTA and Golden Globe winning drama is the true story of Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he'd only visited in his mind.

Best Director, Best Foreign Film winner at the Golden Globes 2008. Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTAs 2008.
2008Rating: M, contains nudity112 minsFranceFrench
DramaTrue Story & Biography

Streaming (2 Providers)

Reviews & comments

Flicks, Team

Flicks, Team

flicks

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a visually stunning film, delivering the tragic story of Jean-Dominique ‘Jean-Do’ Bauby. Mid-career, as editor of Elle magazine, Jean-Do suffers a severe stroke and winds up with ‘locked-in syndrome’, completely paralysed physically (with the exception of his left eyelid) but completely functioning mentally. (The film is based on Jean-Do’s memoirs, written whilst in this paralysed state. Painstakingly, a transcriber would list the letters of the alphabet in order of frequency until Jean-Do blinked for the letter he wanted.)

5.0

Review

Unfortunately didn't feel any empathy with the character ... slept through most of the movie.

1.0

A story of when all you have is memories

How quickly a life can change, yes, thats been said many time before, but... although not a statistical probability, this is a touching story of how one man dealt with that which fate had dealt him.

3.0
Variety

Variety

press

Most compelling in its attempts to re-create the experience of paralysis onscreen, gorgeously lensed pic morphs into a dreamlike collage of memories and fantasies, distancing the viewer somewhat from Bauby's consciousness even as it seeks to take one deeper.

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

A bracingly unsentimental adaptation of a memoir of a paralysed man is the most dynamic film in years.

5.0
Newshub

Newshub

press

Being such a fan of the book, I just couldn't see cinematic justice being done. But I needn't have worried. The emotional intensity of this true story is not lost in translation, and while I still really recommend reading the book as well, don't let this film pass you by.

4.0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Simultaneously uplifting and melancholy, suffused with an unexpected sense of possibility as much as the inevitable sense of loss.

Film Threat

Film Threat

press

Schnabel's film is so steeped in the visual that it is surely the purest of cinema.

5.0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

A poignant reflection on what it means to be alive and, visually, a true cinematic experience.

4.0
Christchurch Press

Christchurch Press

press

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) is a stunning achievement. The American-French film-makers have made a remarkable film from a well-loved book that at first glance would seem unfilmable.

4.0
Flicks, Team

Flicks, Team

flicks

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a visually stunning film, delivering the tragic story of Jean-Dominique ‘Jean-Do’ Bauby. Mid-career, as editor of Elle magazine, Jean-Do suffers a severe stroke and winds up with ‘locked-in syndrome’, completely paralysed physically (with the exception of his left eyelid) but completely functioning mentally. (The film is based on Jean-Do’s memoirs, written whilst in this paralysed state. Painstakingly, a transcriber would list the letters of the alphabet in order of frequency until Jean-Do blinked for the letter he wanted.)

5.0
Variety

Variety

press

Most compelling in its attempts to re-create the experience of paralysis onscreen, gorgeously lensed pic morphs into a dreamlike collage of memories and fantasies, distancing the viewer somewhat from Bauby's consciousness even as it seeks to take one deeper.

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

A bracingly unsentimental adaptation of a memoir of a paralysed man is the most dynamic film in years.

5.0
Newshub

Newshub

press

Being such a fan of the book, I just couldn't see cinematic justice being done. But I needn't have worried. The emotional intensity of this true story is not lost in translation, and while I still really recommend reading the book as well, don't let this film pass you by.

4.0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Simultaneously uplifting and melancholy, suffused with an unexpected sense of possibility as much as the inevitable sense of loss.

Film Threat

Film Threat

press

Schnabel's film is so steeped in the visual that it is surely the purest of cinema.

5.0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

A poignant reflection on what it means to be alive and, visually, a true cinematic experience.

4.0
Christchurch Press

Christchurch Press

press

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) is a stunning achievement. The American-French film-makers have made a remarkable film from a well-loved book that at first glance would seem unfilmable.

4.0

Review

Unfortunately didn't feel any empathy with the character ... slept through most of the movie.

1.0

A story of when all you have is memories

How quickly a life can change, yes, thats been said many time before, but... although not a statistical probability, this is a touching story of how one man dealt with that which fate had dealt him.

3.0