A true story about Spaniard Ramon Sampedro and his thirty year campaign to win euthanasia rights. His cause is charted through his relationships with two women who had significant influence over him; his lawyer and lover.
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Given that the film is almost entirely chronological, much of the dramatic heavy lifting falls to a bedridden Bardem, who transfixes with subtlety and humour. The supporting cast is fantastic too, and despite employing more than a few directorial tropes, much of the fact-based story is handled delicately.
Transcends its melodrama and easy sentimentalizing into an effectively handled, thoughtful, and grandly acted crowd-pleaser. While the filmmaker obviously sides with the Bardem character's wishes, and this bias may turn off some, if one views the movie as solely a casemaker for the right to death with dignity, it validates this tough decision in a humanistic way. Easy to get the meaning, but hard to forget.
"Out to sea. Out to sea, and in the weightlessness of the deep where dreams come true, two souls unite to fulfill a single wish. Your gaze and mine, over and over like an echo, repeating silently: "Deeper, and deeper," beyond everything that is flesh and blood. But I always awaken and I always wish for death, my lips forever entangled in your hair."
Beautiful movie that treats the delicate subject of the right to end one's life with great intelligence, subtlety, sensitivity and poetry. Never inappropriate nor off the mark, filled with humorous notes and great actors.