Don't miss this unexpected masterpiece—Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le papillon)—directed by Julian Schnabel, which screened at the Mill Valley Film Fest, based on the French language novel by Jean-Dominique Bauby. Schnabel concentrates his megalomaniac sensibility by restricting it to the view from behind one man's last bit of self-control, his post-stroke unparalyzed eye.
Scott Foundas of the L.A. Weekly called it "disability porn." It must have made Scott uncomfortable to witness the strong artistic and sexual urges of a massively paralyzed writer projected and magnified to the size of Schnabel's canvas with the gravitas of Jean-Do's cerebro-vascular condition. Let's remember the story comes from Bauby himself, not some John Doe Hollywood screenwriter. It's an autobiography, true, devoid of sap. I find Scott's comments condescending, to say the least. How could he call this utterly human story pornographic,—because it turned him on; because the photography was thrilling; the vantage point zoomed in; and the voyeurism used to great effect?
My only complaint is that the spelling portions of the film couldn't be well translated from French to English.
Cinematical has written a lengthy and supportive review in the film's defense.
By the way, don't watch the trailer, it'll give you the wrong impression. This isn't about driving through the French countryside in a fancy car with dolled-up children and a manicure.