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The Sea Inside

4.6 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Sea Inside, The (DVD)

Academy Award nominee Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls) delivers a powerful and sensitive portrayal of a quadriplegic who fights to win the right to end his life with dignity. Based on a true story.

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Special Features

Audio Commentary: Director Commentary Documentaries: "A trip to The Sea Inside" Making-ofAudio Commentary: Director Commentary Documentaries: "A trip to The Sea Inside" Making-ofAudio Commentary: Director Commentary Documentaries: "A trip to The Sea Inside" Making-ofAudio Commentary: Director Commentary Documentaries: "A trip to The Sea Inside" Making-ofAudio Commentary: Director Commentary Documentaries: "A trip to The Sea Inside" Making-ofAudio Commentary: Director Commentary Documentaries: "A trip to The Sea Inside" Making-ofAudio Commentary: Director Commentary Documentaries: "A trip to The Sea Inside" Making-ofAudio Commentary: Director Commentary Documentaries: "A trip to The Sea Inside" Making-of

Product Details

  • Actors: Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas
  • Directors: Alejandro Amenábar
  • Writers: Alejandro Amenábar, Mateo Gil
  • Producers: Alejandro Amenábar, Fernando Bovaira
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 17, 2005
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00080Z53O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,537 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Sea Inside" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The rule of thumb is that Life is preferable to Death. But, on your mental scale, what value judgement would tip the balance towards the latter? THE SEA INSIDE is a forceful, emotive and sympathetic examination of assisted suicide. It's not a film for those seeking the usual Saturday afternoon pabulum of Hollywood escapism. And for those that believe that opting out of Life is never an option, it will likely be infuriating.

In a Oscar-worthy performance, Javier Bardem plays Ramón Sampedro, the Spanish poet who became a quadriplegic at age 26 when he dove into shallow waters and broke his cervical spine. In THE SEA INSIDE, it's now almost three decades later, and Sampedro is spending the last two years of his life petitioning the conservative Spanish government for the right to die with dignity via an assisted suicide. The film is an extraordinarily well acted piece by all members of the cast.

The family that cares for Ramón 24/7 includes his older brother José (Celso Bugallo), his brother's wife Manuela (Mabel Rivera), his father Germán (Alberto Jimenéz), and his nephew Javi (Tamar Novas). Besides the dedicated Manuela, who loves Ramón like a son, there are three other extraordinary women in his life: Julia (Belén Rueda, in her acting debut), the lawyer who handles Sampedro's legal case and who has a secret of her own, Gené (Clara Segura), the representative of a national right-to-die organization, and Rosa (Lola Dueñas), the single, working mother of two that just stopped in to say hello to the invalid and ends up adoring him. Indeed, the large number of caring females in Sampedro's stunted life yields perhaps the film's only trace of humor.
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Format: DVD
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of 2004, The Sea Inside is a fact-based story of Ramón Sampedro, a quadriplegic man who petitions the Spanish government for his right to die. Without the use of his body for 27 years, Sampedro desires above all else the right to be euthanized. His story is taken on by an association that goes by the name of "Die with Dignity" which is how he has a voice in court.

The story begins as a lawyer comes to Ramón to learn his story. She has taken the case pro bono to get his wish to die granted by the courts. This is the first person we see him encounter that tries to understand him; she is not the last.

Through these meetings we see how truly remarkeable Sampedro really is. We see the devices he has invented to assist him in his situation. We see the poetry his heart has poured out over the years. We are party to conversations in which he explains life and freedom of choice, he talks of a future he hopes not to have. Every person he communicates with is so deeply moved by him; it is humbling to see the effect one man may have on others.

Director Alejandro Amenábar (Open Your Eyes, The Others) brings to life this story of a man enslaved to his body. The movie is set in the house Ramón refuses to leave, though we see incredible landscape shots and are taken on an amazing ride as Sampedro jumps out of his two story window and flies all the way to the beach. Through his eyes we see how he lingers over the blue-green water. To this former sailor, the sea represents that which gave him life and ultimately took it away.

The only thing worse than your son dying before you...is him wanting to.
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Format: DVD
With his outsize facial features and unremitting soulfulness, Javier Bardem is a supremely adroit actor, who reminds me quite a bit of a mid-century Anthony Quinn in that they share chameleonic abilities and earthy charisma. As he proved with his stunning portrayal of Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas in 2001's "Before Night Falls", Bardem can bring resonance to a real-life character and imbue him with a palpable humanistic spirit. In this film, he plays quadriplegic Ramón Sampedro, who traveled the world in his youth as a seaman and then suffered a tragic dive off a cliff which left him paralyzed. For thirty years, Sampedro's brother and sister-in-law took care of him on their farm in Galicia, and his one unresolved wish is to die with dignity rather than face another day not being able to move anything more than his head. The controversial issue of euthanasia has been addressed numerous times, most recently in Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby". It continues to be a hot topic stateside, but perhaps because of its Spanish perspective, director/writer Alejandro Amenábar has fashioned a story that seems less issue-oriented and more about how Sampedro infused those around him with a transformative sense of life's possibility. There is something quite profound about this subtly observed irony, and Amenábar, along with co-writer Mateo Gil, seems intent on challenging us to share Sampedro's single-minded perspective while empathizing with the increasing grief his loved ones feel for his approaching loss.Read more ›
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