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The Sea Inside


Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from The Sea Inside

From the director of Open Your Eyes (remade as Vanilla Sky) and The Others comes this tale of a man who broke his neck diving into the sea in 1968 that is based on a true story. It revolves around the intriguing debate surrounding his desire to be allowed a dignified death via assisted suicide, but although the film’s hero is focused on his obsession with death, it doesn’t entirely go along with him. His decision is respected but the tangle of relationships around him is shown with such emotion that the viewer might wonder how he can bear to leave so many people who love him in so many ways.

Javier Bardem is brilliantly cast as the bed-bound Ramón, portraying a credibly wilted and unmanageable body, with a face that is subtly expressive. He delivers a tour de force without that begging-for-an-Oscar showboating that tends to come when stars play disabled people, conveying a real sense of what Ramón has missed, as friends pop in with stories of the outside or other lives rush on in spurts.

Bardem is joined by excellent actresses including Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas and Mabel Rivera, playing strong, strange women who come to dote on Ramón and, thanks to their contributions the more intimate scenes are almost unbearably poignant. All in all it adds up to a remarkably delicate and affecting picture about a downbeat subject, with some incredibly impressive acting.

Mark Gibson

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Summer Term (35mm)