Alejandro Amenabar, whose previous works have included Open Your Eyes and The Others, directs this story of life and death as a quadriplegic. Javier Bardem plays the part of the real-life merchant seaman Ramon Sampedro, who, after being paralysed in a diving accident, campaigned vigorously for the right to end his own life.

Our View

"Amenabar's approach to his subject is lyrical rather than realistic... The film is not without its flaws... The script never lets us doubt that self-determination will win the day. Bardem's performance, however, is a small miracle of expressiveness, and seems to contain the regret of a lifetime in his sad smile." Anthony Quinn

Critical View

"Javier Bardem gives one of the year's best performances in The Sea Inside... The talented young director even manages to make his film optimistic rather than depressing." Daily Mail

"The Sea Inside is no masterpiece, but - thank goodness - it's no Ron Howard movie either. Always intelligent, rarely sentimental, and confirming Bardem's status as one of the most compelling actors in world cinema today, it stands a very good chance of picking up a gong at [the Oscars]." The Daily Telegraph

"[Amenabar's] film is an extraordinarily shallow euthanasia weepie... A nice performance from Bardem cannot offer much compensation." The Guardian