Julian Schnabel (Before Night Falls) directs this biographical drama based on the remarkable memoir of journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby. In 1995, the editor of French Elle suffered a massive stroke and woke from a coma suffering from "locked-in" syndrome, a state of almost total paralysis. Schnabel's film dramatises the extraordinary efforts of Bauby (played by Mathieu Amalric) to dictate his story by blinking his left eye, as a speech therapist (Marie-Josée Croze) runs through a specially devised alphabet. Schnabel and screenwriter Ronald Harwood (both Oscar-nominated) break up these painstaking and (inevitably) slow scenes of the writing process with flashbacks of Bauby's earlier life. His plight and his attempts to communicate are moving and beautifully filmed, and there are superb performances from a cast that includes Emmanuelle Seigner (as his partner) and Max von Sydow (as his father). Yet the film struggles to do full justice to the author's unique achievement and some may find the protagonist's sense of tedium all too real.