Le scaphandre et le papillon

  • Directors: Julian Schnabel
  • Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Jon Kilik
  • Writers: Memoir, Jean Dominique Bauby, Screenplay, Ronald Harwood
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Consigny, Max Von Sydow

The film is told entirely from the restricted point of view of Bauby, as he wakes from his three-week coma in a hospital in Berck, France. A neurologist explains that he has locked-in syndrome, an extremely rare condition in which the patient is almost completely physically paralyzed, but remains mentally normal. At first, the viewer primarily hears Bauby’s thoughts, which are inaccessible to the other characters, and sees through his one functioning eye.

A speech therapist and physical therapist try to help Bauby become as functional as possible. Bauby cannot speak, but he develops a system of communication with his speech therapist by blinking his left eye as she reads a list of letters to spell out his messages, letter by letter.

Gradually, the film’s restricted point of view broadens out, and the viewer begins to see Bauby from ‘outside’, in addition to experiencing incidents from his past, as well as his fantasies, in which he imagines beaches, mountains, The Empress Eugénie, and a large feast. It is revealed that Bauby had been editor of the popular French fashion magazine Elle, and that he had a deal to write a book. He decides that he will still write a book, using his slow and exhausting communication technique. A woman from a publishing house with which Bauby has a book contract is hired to take dictation.

Bauby eventually completes his memoir and hears the critics’ responses to it. However, he dies of pneumonia shortly after the publication.

W

  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Producers: Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik, Bill Block, Oliver Stone
  • Writers: Stanley Weiser
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss, Toby Jones, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn, Bruce McGill, Jennifer Sipes, Noah Wyle, Ioan Gruffudd

George W. Bush (Josh Brolin) endures an alcohol-fueled initiation by fellow Yale students as a pledge for the fictional Delta Iota Kappa fraternity. During the hazing, Bush successfully recalls the names and nicknames of many of the fraternity members and states that his father’s political legacy is one he has no interest in. After the younger Bush is jailed for rowdiness after a baseball game, his father, Texas Congressman George H.W. Bush (James Cromwell), states that he will help his son, but only for the last time. Bush quits an oil patch job soon after and is accepted into Harvard Business School, and gets into a drunken fight with his father that night. Bush reveals his real aspirations in a father-son talk: being a baseball manager.

At a poker game Bush announces he will run for Congress in Texas. At a barbecue Bush meets Laura Welch (Elizabeth Banks), his future wife. Bush is criticized by his opponent, Democrat Kent Hance, who says that Bush is not a “real Texan” and has spent campaign contributions to throw an alcohol fueled party to underage Texas Tech University students. Bush does poorly in the debate and loses the election, but with the highest number of votes for a Republican candidate in the county’s history.

Bush has a nightmare in which his father accuses him of ruining the Bush legacy, which he claims was intended for Jeb. Later, he dreams of playing center field in a baseball game, in which he cannot find the ball.

Alexander

  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Producers: Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik, Iain Smith
  • Writers: Oliver Stone, Christopher Kyle, Laeta Kalogridis
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Biography, Drama, Romance, War
  • Actors: Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Rosario Dawson, Jared Leto, Anthony Hopkins

The film is based on the biography of Alexander the Great, the Macedonian King who conquered Asia Minor, Persia and Ancient India. Shown in the movie are some of the key moments of Alexander’s youth, his invasion of the mighty Persian Empire and his death. It also outlines his early life, including his difficult relationship with his father, Philip II of Macedonia (Val Kilmer), the unification of the Greek city-states under the League of Corinth[3] and the conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BC. It also details his plans to reform his empire and the attempts he made to reach the end of the world.

The storyline begins in 356 BC with Ptolemy I Soter (Anthony Hopkins), who narrates throughout the film. With a lavish budget, the film depicts Alexander’s daily life and the strained relationship between his parents. Alexander grows up with his mother Olympias (Angelina Jolie) and his tutor Aristotle, where he finds interest in love, honour, music, exploration, poetry and military combat. His relationship with his father is destroyed when Philip marries Attalus’s niece, Eurydice.

After Philip is assassinated, Alexander becomes king of Macedonia and the rest of Greece. Having briefly mentioned his punitive razing of Thebes and burning of Persepolis, Ptolemy gives an overview of Alexander’s west-Persian campaign, including his declaration as the son of Zeus by the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis, his great battle against the Persian Emperor Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela and his eight-year campaign at Hydaspes against Porus in India.

The film also focuses intensively on the close and warped relationship that Alexander shared with his mother Olympias, even though he never saw her after embarking on his long campaigns.

Babel

  • Directors:
  • Producers: Steve Golin, Jon Kilik
  • Writers: Guillermo Arriaga
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi, Nathan Gamble, Elle Fanning

The movie focuses on four interrelated sets of situations and characters, and many events are revealed out of sequence. The following plot summary has been simplified, and thus does not reflect the exact sequence of the events on screen.

In a remote desert location in southern Morocco, Abdullah, a goatherder, buys a high-powered .270 Winchester M70 rifle and a box of ammunition from his countryman Hassan Ibrahim to shoot the jackals that have been preying on his goats. Abdullah gives the rifle to his two young sons, Yussef and Ahmed (played by local non-professional actors Boubker Ait El Caid and Said Tarchini), and sends them out to tend the herd. Competing gently between themselves and doubtful of the rifle’s purported three-kilometer range, they decide to test it out, aiming first for rocks and then for a bus carrying Western tourists on the highway below. Yussef’s bullet hits the bus, critically wounding Susan Jones (Cate Blanchett), an American woman from San Diego[3][4] who is traveling with her husband Richard Jones (Brad Pitt) on vacation. The two boys realize what has happened and flee the scene, hiding the rifle in the hills that night.

Glimpses of television news programs reveal that the US government holds the shooting to be a terrorist act and is pressuring the Moroccan government to apprehend the culprits. Having traced the rifle back to Hassan, the Moroccan police descend quickly on his house and roughly question him and his wife until they reveal that the rifle was given to him by a Japanese man, and then sold to Abdullah. The two boys see the police on the road and confess to their father what they have done. (They believe at the time that the American woman has died of her wounds.) The three flee from their house, retrieving the rifle as they go. The police corner them on the rocky slope of a hill and open fire. After his brother is hit in the leg, Yussef returns fire, striking one police officer in the shoulder. The police continue shooting, eventually hitting Ahmed in the back, seemingly killing him. As his father rages with grief, Yussef eventually surrenders and confesses to all the crimes, begging clemency for his family and medical assistance for his brother. The police take him into custody. The family’s fate is unresolved.

At the end of the movie, a phone conversation between Amelia and Richard is repeated from Richard’s end of the phone. This is the original phone call at the beginning of Amelia’s story. In this conversation it can be heard that he is allowing Amelia to go to her son’s wedding because Susan’s sister will be able to watch the twins. It is not until the next morning on another phone call they learn that Susan’s sister cannot take care of them and thus Amelia is forced to take the children with her.