Monday, January 14, 2008

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Review

In some ways this is the most wonderful film I've seen this year. Julian Schnabel's direction and Janusz Kaminski's lensing are nothing short of extraordinary. There are moments in here where the immersion is feel 'locked-in' with Jean-Do...(read more) and it's a remarkable accomplishment. The performances are uniformly strong including Amalric (who could make an interesting villain in this year's 22nd Bond film) and, in a smaller role, Marie-Josee Croze who plays his 'speech' coach. Croze is a remarkably effective facial actress who manages to convey remarkable emotion without words. As nebulous as this may sound, however, there were moments of the film that I found myself losing interest: a long flashback of a trip to Lourdes and its pounding religious overtones sort of lost me. Occasionally some of the ideas (usually Jean-Do's imaginary sequences) feel a bit over the top. It's definitely interesting to see and it's beautifully filmed...but I hesitate to call it a truly great movie.

Overall Score: 7/10

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