Monday, June 16, 2008


Though the "action" of the film is often constrained by the one-eyed and motionless POV of its grievously hurt narrator, Julian Schnabel's painterly guidance keeps the viewer engaged by highlighting the beauty we often ignore in our surroundings: a sunlit curtain moving in the breeze, the play of light through tears, a surreptitious glimpse of breast or thigh.

Of course the film's uplifting focus is the power of memory and imagination to overcome disability, but The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is still terribly sad. I'd like to mention my favorite moments but don't want to spoil anything.

A special nod to Max von Sydow, who is as great here as he has always been.

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