A healthcare system I could get behind

I don't know much about the French healthcare system, but if it's anything like the one depicted in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly then I'm all for instituting something similar in the U.S. All of Jean-Dominique Bauby's nurses are gorgeous. His girlfriend, the mother of his children, even his literary assistant are all attractive. Having just awoken from a stroke to this assemblage of beauties, Bauby muses that he must be in heaven.

The truth is a great deal more tragic: Bauby has locked-in syndrome. A stroke has left his mind is alive but paralyzed nearly every muscle in his body. The one part of his body that still serves him is his left eye, and in time he learns to communicate using a system of blinking in response to a series of letters arranged in order of frequency of occurrence in the French language.

It's a subtle but smart choice to cast so many striking women. Bauby's recognition of their beauty reminds us of how alive he still is, despite his condition. The mind that survives need not be a sterile one, bereft of the pleasures of the opposite sex.

In addition to being a moving true story, the movie also serves as a fascinating intellectual examination of the value of communication in the human condition. A simple but brilliant movie.

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