The Sea Inside | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Sea Inside 

This thoughtful, sometimes beautiful feature by Alejandro Amenabar (Thesis, Open Your Eyes, The Others) is loosely based on the true story of Spanish poet Ramon Sampedro, a quadriplegic who fought a 30-year legal battle for his right to die. Amenabar addresses the theme of euthanasia by providing a sharp, almost novelistic sense of what the hero (Javier Bardem) means to his family and his friends (Lola Duenas is a standout as one of them). The treatment of the sea, where Sampedro was crippled in a diving accident but to which he still feels a connection, is particularly lyrical. A film about freedom as well as death, this won't suit every taste, but it rewards close attention and has moments of saving humor. In Spanish with subtitles. PG-13, 125 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Pipers Alley.

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