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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly | 2007 | PG-13 | - 6.4.4

The true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), the editor of Elle magazine who at the age of 42 suffered a severe stroke that left him with the use of only one eye and eyelid. But with the help of very patient assistants he managed to dictate his story simply by blinking. Also with Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Anne Consigny, Patrick Chesnais, Niels Arestrup, Olatz López Garmendia, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Marina Hands, Max von Sydow, Isaach De Bankolé and Emma de Caunes. In French with English subtitles. Directed by Julian Schnabel. [1:52]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A nude woman lies in a bed, pulls the sheets off her and reveals her bare breasts and abdomen and the gesture suggests that she is inviting a man to join her (we do not see the man).
 A nude man and a nude woman lie in bed together (her bare breasts and his bare buttocks are visible), and he tells her he "can't make love with a Madonna watching him" (the woman has purchased a statue that sits on the dresser near the bed).
 A female fashion model is shown bare breasted during a photo shoot. A man's genitals are visible during a water therapy session. A woman's skirt blows in the wind and reveals her upper thighs in a couple of scenes and the camera lingers suggesting a man is looking at her thighs. We see a painting of a nude woman and bare breasts and nipples are evident. Women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage in a few scenes. We see a man wearing a skin-tight leotard while leaping through a hallway. Men are shown in swim trunks during a water therapy sequence.
 A man and a woman in swimsuits kiss while lying in the surf (we see this a couple of times). A man and a woman kiss.
 A woman tells a paralyzed man to blow her a kiss, she puckers her lips and instructs the man how to do the same; she then asks him to do an exercise with his tongue and she demonstrates.
 A man talks to his adult son about having had affairs with other women while married to his mother.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A doctor stitches a paralyzed man's eye closed (it cannot blink and it is becoming dry) and we see the needle piercing the lid from the inside as if we are the man.
 A man drives a car with his young son in the passenger seat when he suffers a stroke; the man pulls the car over to the side of the road, then his body contorts and he is unable to move or speak and the boy yells and runs for help.
 A paralyzed man imagines being trapped in a wheelchair on a platform in a rough sea. A paralyzed man imagines being in a deep-sea diving suit in a few scenes.
 A paralyzed man is shown in an ambulance and we hear that he has pneumonia. A man wakes from a coma and we hear that he had a stroke. A paralyzed man sees himself in a mirror and remarks about how awful he looks.
 A paralyzed man spells out to a woman that he wants to die; she becomes angry and walks out of the room. A doctor talks about a man's brain stem being out of action and that he is paralyzed and that it is called "locked in syndrome." A doctor tells a paralyzed man that he must be patient and that his mind and speech will return. We hear that a man's mother is dead. There are references made to Lourdes as a place where people go to be "healed." A man talks about having been held hostage in Beirut and having felt suicidal.
 A paralyzed man is given communion against his will. A man's young son cries after seeing his paralyzed father's condition.
 X-rays of a human skeleton are shown in a few scenes.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 2 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (jerk, vegetable), 5 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - Men and women are shown drinking wine with a meal, and a woman drinks a glass of wine. A couple of women smoke cigarettes in a few scenes, men are shown smoking cigarettes in a few scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Strokes, rehabilitation, ambition, loss, suffering by loved ones of a stroke victim, normality, hope, self-pity, grief, suicide, prolonging of life, guilt, Lourdes, parental approval, imagination, memory, loneliness, tuberculosis, love, adult children caring for elderly parents.

MESSAGE - With help people are capable of extraordinary feats.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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