“I hope I don’t regret this, because on the DVD we have a pretty long documentary about how the film was made,” Alejandro Amenabar says early on in the commentary track for his foreign-language film Oscar winner. He’s right; the doc is long. But the Spanish helmer/co-writer is also a serious, self-deprecating analyst of his own work (“This is a shot I hate. I can’t stand it. I’m sorry”), and what comes across on both extras is the careful, meticulous and altogether scrupulous nature of his approach to the real-life story of Ramon Sampedro (Javier Bardem, in a powerfully immobile performance) and his 29-year campaign to end his own life.
Of particular note are the segments devoted to the picture’s subtle but extensive palette of digital effects, which were used to animate and at times even create the world outside the bedridden Sampedro’s window. The disc’s deleted scenes — which flesh out the complicated relationship between Sampedro’s attorney Julia (Belen Rueda) and her husband — are some of the film’s most moving.