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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
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This French film from last year was incredibly well done, though I'm not quite sure I can recommend it, if only because it is probably one of the most depressing films I've ever seen.

Based on the book by the same title, it's the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the 42 year-old editor of Elle magazine, who has a stroke leading to a very rare condition, locked-in syndrome. He is nearly completely paralyzed, save for his left eye. Eventually, with the help of his therapist, he learns to communicate by blinking his eye in response to her recitation of the alphabet, with the letters in order of usage frequency. Eventually, he dictates an entire book this way, the book upon which the movie was based.

The movie does a great job of showing things from his perspective, of using skewed camera angles and various lens effects to make you feel trapped in his body. In fact, the movie is too effective. I know in some sense the story is supposed to be uplifting, but mostly it is just soul-crushingly depressing.

In the sense of making you appreciate what you have, I suppose it's a good recommendation. But definitely don't see it if you're looking for a pick-me-up.


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