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Mar Adentro is a Spanish biographical – dramatic film from 2004 co – written and directed by Alejandro Amenábar and starring Javier Bardem , Belén Rueda and Lola Dueñas . It is based on the real story of Ramón Sampedro , a writer and exmarinero who is quadriplegic after an accident occurred during his youth and remains bedridden for almost 30 years, situation for which he wishes to die through the application of euthanasia . The film recounts the struggle of Sampedro to get the law to recognize his right to die .

She won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film , among many other awards.


Ramón ( Javier Bardem ) has been in his body for almost thirty years, lying in a bed in the care of his family. His only window to the world is that of his room, by the sea, where he traveled so long and where he suffered the accident that interrupted his youth. Since then, his only desire is to end his life, making use of assisted suicide, because only then would he be free again. Faced with this desire is interposed the fact that this is an illegal practice in Spain, as in most countries around the world, so it must fight against the Spanish administrative services and the Spanish Church , which becomes a struggle Quite exhausting.

In the middle of their struggle, their wait is altered by the arrival of two women: Julia ( Belén Rueda ), a beautiful lawyer (who suffers CADASIL ) who wants to support her fight, and Rosa ( Lola Dueñas ), a woman of the town Full of joy of life, who will try to convince him that living is worth it. The luminous personality of Ramón ends up captivating both women, who will have to question, as never before, the principles that govern their lives. He, for his part, will stand firm in his idea that only the person who truly loves him will be the one who will help him fulfill his desire.


The film is a production of Sogecine and Hymenoptera, in co-production with UGC Images (France) and Eyescreen (Italy), with the collaboration of TVE , Canal + , TVG , Filmanova and Eurimages / ICAA support. The international distribution was carried out by Sogepaq.

The team is the same who participated in Los otros , with the incorporation of Jo Allen in the makeup, in which they invested five hours a day for the physical change of Javier Bardem . The film was filmed for twelve weeks in Galicia, Catalonia and Madrid, with a budget of ten million euros. The music was composed by Amenábar, interpreted by the London Session Orchestra and counted on the collaboration of the galician musician Carlos Núñez . 3


The opinion of the critics was very favorable, although there were some negative critics, like the one of Antonio Gasset , person in charge of the program Days of cinema of TVE , that it described as “mediocre and cloying”. 4 This review was not the only one against. Some people with tetraplegia expressed their disagreement with the film and the vital attitude of Sampedro. 5


The story of Ramón Sampedro had an important impact in Spain, and renewed the controversial debate on euthanasia. In Spain, suicide assistance is penalized. The trial for the legalization of euthanasia was held in 1993 and was of great media interest. Ramón took his life in 1998 with the help of his friend Ramona Maneiro .

The character of Julia ( Belén Rueda ) is inspired by the journalist Laura Palmés (1954-2011), ill of multiple sclerosis , and her report on the subject of euthanasia . 6

Awards and nominations

Oscar awards
Year Category Receiver (s) Result
2004 Oscar for best non-English film Winner
2004 Best Makeup Jo Allen and Ana Ruiz Puigcerber Nominated
Goya Awards

Inland Sea won a Goya in almost all the categories to which it was nominated: fourteen Goya of fifteen nominations.

Year Category Receiver (s) Result
2004 Best film Winner
Best director Alejandro Amenábar Winner
best Actor Javier Bardem Winner
Best actress Lola Dueñas Winner
Best Supporting Actor Celso Bugallo Winner
Best Supporting Actress Mabel Rivera Winner
Best actor revelation Tamar Novas Winner
Best actress revelation Belén Rueda Winner
Best Original Screenplay Alejandro Amenábar and Mateo Gil Winners
Best Original Music Alejandro Amenábar Winner
Best Art Direction Benjamín Fernández Candidate
Best Production Direction Emiliano Otegui Winner
Best Photography Javier Aguirresarobe Winner
Best makeup and hairdresser Jo Allen and Ana López Puigcerver Winners
Best Sound Ricardo Steinberg , Alfonso Raposo , Juan Ferro and Maria Steinberg Winners
Golden Globe Awards
Year Category Receiver (s) Result
2004 Golden Globe for best non-English language film Winner
2004 Golden Globe for Best Actor – Drama Javier Bardem Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards
Year Category Receiver (s) Result
2004 Best Foreign Language Film Winner

Critics Choice Awards

Year Category Receiver (s) Result
2004 Best Foreign Language Film Winner
European Film Awards
Year Category Receiver (s) Result
2004 Best European Film Nominated
2004 Best director Alejandro Amenábar Winner
2004 best Actor Javier Bardem Winner
2004 Best Photography Javier Aguirresarobe Nominated
2004 Best screenplay Alejandro Amenábar
Mateo Gil
Sant Jordi Awards
Category Result
Best Spanish Film Winner
Venice Festival
Category Receiver (s) Result
Leon de Plata – Grand Prix of the Jury Winner
Volpi Cup Javier Bardem Winner
Circle Writer’s Medals 7
Category Receiver (s) Result
Best film Candidate
Best director Alejandro Amenábar Candidate
best Actor Javier Bardem Winner
Best supporting actor Celso Bugallo Candidate
Best Supporting Actress Lola Dueñas Winner
Best Supporting Actress Mabel Rivera Candidate
Best Original Screenplay Alejandro Amenábar and Mateo Gil Candidate
Best Photography Javier Aguirresarobe Winner
Best mount Alejandro Amenábar Candidate
Best music Alejandro Amenábar Candidate
Revelation award Belén Rueda Winner


  1. Back to top↑ Tab
  2. Back to top↑ File in Box Office Mojo
  3. Back to top↑ “Mar Adentro”, by Alejandro Amenábar
  4. Back to top↑ The best sentences of Antonio Gasset
  5. Back to top↑ Several anti-euthanasia comments
  6. Back to top↑ [1]
  7. Back to top↑ «CEC medals to the Spanish production of 2004» . Circle of Cinematographic Writers . Consulted on April 2, 2016 .