In telling the true story of Ramón Sampedro, a quadriplegic who fought for the right to end his own life after three decades of ”the most humiliating of slaveries: being a live head stuck to a dead body,” co-writer/director Alejandro Amenábar clearly understands in The Sea Inside that those who deal with quality-of-life issues in real time are dishonored by amped-up discourse larded with questions of faith and political maneuvering. Javier Bardem uses the strain of sublimating his vigorous physicality to feed his portrayal of a man who had to learn to ”cry by laughing”; it’s hard work connecting to a character who withdraws from facile emotions, but worth it. EXTRAS An excellent, feature-length making-of doc that details the process from conception to wrap includes video interviews of Sampedro, and reveals an homage to E.T. within the film. In his director’s commentary, Amenábar identifies ”the ugliest shot in the movie” and speaks of his distaste for spoon-feeding the audience: ”There’s no need to say everything.” Plus, photo, storyboard, and set design galleries, and three deleted scenes, two that fill out Belén Rueda’s character.
Genre: Drama; Starring: Javier Bardem; Director: Alejandro Amenabar; Author: Alejandro Amenabar, Mateo Gil; Release Date Limited: 12/17/2004; Runtime (in minutes): 125; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Fine Line Features
Posted May 16 2005 — 12:00 AM EDT
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