The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Synopsis
Editor-in-Chief Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric) of Elle magazine has a devastating stroke.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
The movie has done what those who've cherished the book might have thought impossible -- intensified its singular beauty by roving as free...
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The Hollywood Reporter

By Ray Bennett
Director Julian Schnabel and screenwriter Ronald Harwood have performed a small miracle in adapting for the screen Jean-Dominique Bauby's...
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
At the end we are left with the reflection that human consciousness is the great miracle of evolution, and all the rest (sight, sound,...
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Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
The most beautiful movie ever made about a man who could only move one eyelid -- almost dangerously beautiful.
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Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
He even calls the majestic view from one of the hospital landings his Cinecittà, after the legendary Italian film studio. The movie is a...
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
The film is more than laborious eye-blinking - it's also dazzling visually, its potent imagery conjured by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski....
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Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
The movie will wipe you out. Schnabel's previous two films (Basquiat, Before Night Falls) also focused on artists. But this is his best film...
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San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
By the end, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly achieves a victory over difficult material, but celebrating that fact doesn't preclude...
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New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
Take us on an indelible tour through the highest and lowest points of the human experience.
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Whereas the book was lyrical and moving, the movie is surrealistic and inventive.
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Visually and emotionally stunning!

By bedbugz
Based on the true story of Jean-Dominic Bauby, The Diving Bell & The Butterfly wonderfully captures the essence of Bauby's memoir. Although there are moments of bitterness it's Bauby's imagination...

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

By potatobarn
Beautiful, strong movie. Excellent direction and visuals. One scene overly long - night walk through Lourdes....

TheDiving Bell and the Butterfly

By scaryteri

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

By tscherer

Quite a film

By asmythe-11
This movie is epic...

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

By mjs94
Very Good. Makes you think about your own life....

Bell & Butterly

Like many films this year, this movie is dark, sad, serious. But the use of camera, in the beginning especially, is clever and unique. Characters are real and believable. Acting is superb. This...

Put it on the list

By love2watch22202
In the way the French love to this movie was laden with metaphors - some very obvious, some open for discussion. I didn't find it quite as dark/depressing as some seemed to. Just another friendly...

oh my god!

By julialaloca
tragic, depressing, frustrating, terrific acting, very french....

Diving Bell and the Butterfly

By jajoart
Hard to watch, but excellent. Slow, beautiful, creates a feeling. Brilliant, Julian Schnabel does it again - much better than his paintings!!...

More Info

Rated PG-13 | For nudity, sexual content and some language
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Subtitled drama takes paralyzed man's perspective.
Read the Common Sense Media Review