The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro)


(out of 5)

Spanish auteur Alejandro Amenabar, creator of the impeccable thrillers Open Your Eyes (the basis for the Tom Cruise vehicle Vanilla Sky) and The Others, continues to astonish with this heartrending biography of euthanasia advocate Ramon Sampedro. Sampedro () was injured in a swimming accident at a young age and spent nearly thirty years paralyzed, lying immobile from the neck down in his family’s home, the whole time fighting for the legal right to die with dignity as was his wish. When the film begins, he strikes up a friendship with his newly appointed lawyer (), herself suffering from a degenerative disease, and she reviews his story while developing a deep affinity for him. As Sampedro’s story becomes popular, he also makes the acquaintance of a divorcee (Talk To Her‘s ) who finds in him the most kindred spirit of her life. How he brings joy to others while fighting so hard to make his own wish of final rest come to pass makes for a poetic masterpiece of complex emotions and painfully beautiful remembrances. Bardem brings his skillful combination of personal gusto and quiet elegance to the part, giving the most robust performance of the year and coming across so powerfully despite having nothing else to work with except his face. He leads an equally impressive cast in an unforgettable film about love and the impossible sacrifices we are often asked to make in its name.

Sogepaq, Sogecine, Himenóptero, Union Générale Cinématographique, Eyescreen S.r.l., Televisión Española, Canal+, Televisión de Galicia S.A., Filmanova, Eurimages, Ministerio de Cultura

Spain/France/Italy, 2004

Directed by

Screenplay by Alejandro Amenabar,

Cinematography by

Produced by Alejandro Amenabar,

Music by Alejandro Amenabar

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by Alejandro Amenabar

Academy Awards 2004

Golden Globe Awards 2004

Independent Spirit Awards 2004.

Toronto International Film Festival 2004


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