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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly).


Hypnotic. Emotionally Hypnotic. What a fabulous movie, unbelievably extraordinary and outstanding. This is a unique experience than not often you will have the opportunity to see and live it.

Where shall I start? The easiest part is the story. Based on the memoirs of Jean-Dominique Bauby and a book he wrote after suffering a massive stroke at the age of 43, which left him in a condition known as locked-in syndrome that allowed only one eyelid to function, the rest was paralyzed. Blinking he wrote the book that inspired this movie.

This outstanding Julian Schnabel film tells the above story but what it is amazing is that it tells it from the totally paralyzed Bauby point of view and perhaps you cannot imagine the outstanding cinematic voyage that this ingenious way to tell a story will take you.

Visually amazing from the very beginning to the very end, incredible editing, excellent framing of very close close-ups, not many silences, adequate pace (not slow) and most of all extraordinary director that produced a film that will make you feel EVERYTHING. There was absolutely nothing that I didn’t feel as me being the main character, amazing! I ended up in a tight knot and yes I shred a tear or two –more out of emotions than out of sad situations.

One Javier Bardem performance that I can’t forget is when he acted only with his head in the hard to watch Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside); but now I will never forget Mathieu Amalric for his outstanding performance with only ONE eye, a performance that with the brilliant Schnabel direction and the magnificent camera makes you feel everything he is feeling. Have to share that after reading about this movie I found that Johnny Depp was supposed to play this role, and well, I do regret that he was busy with one Pirate movie, as this would have been the role of his life and I’m sure that he would have been perfect as the best feature Depp has are his eyes! Shame.

Another thing I read and found fascinating is that Schnabel resisted the pressure from producers to film in English and have to say chapeau to Schnabel as the English language is totally different to French and most of the emotions would have been lost.

I’ve been "dying" to see this movie and the wait was totally worth it, I’m still emotionally exhausted but very pleased that I had the opportunity to see such an outstanding film that absolutely deserves all the accolades, honors, awards, nominations and yes the Oscar for best foreign film. OOOPS! Is not nominated… he he, I knew it was not, but couldn’t help saying that, as this is another unforgivable omission for best whatever. Okay I settle for Schnabel getting the best director award, but I doubt they will give it to him.

Can’t say that the film is for all audiences, you have to like art cinema, stories told in a non linear way, and scenes that replicate what you can see with only one eye.

Obviously A MUST BE SEEN masterpiece.

BIG ENJOY!!!

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