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The 100 Best Movies Of The Complex Decade

28. The Diving Bell And The Butterfly (2007)

Director: Julian Schnabel
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Consigny, Marie-Josee Croze, Olatz Lopez Garmendia

There's arguably no greater compliment than this: Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell And The Butterfly shows us the true magic of cinema. Scoff at the cheesiness of such a proclamation all you want, but we defy you to view the artist-turned-director's adaptation of stroke victim Jean-Dominique Bauby's 2007 memoir and not stare in awe at the sheer prowess on display.

Largely shot to represent Bauby's own point-of-view, Diving Bell captures the difficulties and limitations of Bauby's bout with locked-in syndrome (paralysis from the neck down, with only one eye to communicate with) through experimental camera angles, claustrophobically radiant cinematography, and powerful optimism.

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