Mar Adentro (2004, SPA/FRA/ITA) C-126m. SCOPE *** D: Alejandro Amenábar. Starring Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Duenas, Mabel Rivera, Celso Bugallo, Clara Segura, Joan Dalmau. Remarkable drama about middle-aged Bardem, who has been a quadriplegic for over twenty years and has now decided to go to court to have his final wish fulfilled: to end his life. The family around Bardem cannot understand him, but lawyer Rueda is fascinated by the case. Beautifully handled drama is based on a real case. The cast is flawless, Amenábar's score is heart-felt. An interesting contribution to the discussion of euthanasia, though one might have wished for more controversy. Written by Mateo Gil and the director, who also edited and coproduced. Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Language Film. English titles: THE SEA INSIDE, and THE SEA WITHIN.

© Ron Altman