Jean-Dominique Bauby, the real-life subject of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, is “locked inside” his body due to a stroke, and director Julian Schnabel does an astonishing job of locking us in there with him. Bauby is paralyzed except for the ability to blink one eye, and for the first third of the film the camera only shows the world from that trapped and distressed point of view. It’s not a gimmicky technique but a transferring of creative responsibility. Whereas most biographical films about extreme disability put the weight of communication on an actor (think of Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot), The Diving Bell hands that burden to the camera, and by extension to the audience. Schnabel eventually broadens his palette – he uses flashbacks, fantasy sequences and scenes of Bauby (Mathieu Amalric) from his caretakers’ perspective. Yet the true triumph of the film is that we never really leave Bauby’s head. The Diving Bell is a shattering experience from the inside out.