Le scaphandre et le papillon

[Screenshot]I haven’t read the book which this is inspird by and sort of connected to, and I didn’t even know who Jean-Dominique Bauby was before I watched it. Basing a film on a nonfiction book has to be one of the hardest things to do well: it encompasses the most difficult aspects of docudrama and book adaptation. Fortunately, both reality and Bauby’s text were up to telling a pretty compelling story here. It’s fortunate that Bauby had had such a glamorous and rich life to contrast his locked-in end with. I don’t really know how the retelling here stacks up against reality (I get a vague impression his wife and mistress had very different takes on his character, and that one or the other might have influenced this production) but except perhaps in these specifics there’s a definite sense of verisimillitude.

The acting and cinemacraft here is unspectacular but they really aren’t the focus anyways; as a vehicle for this interesting and introspective story they’re more than adequate.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.


About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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