February 2, 2011

127 Hours - 2010

Director: Danny Boyle
Writers: Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
Starring: James Franco

"This rock... this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. It's entire life, ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. In space. It's been waiting, to come here. Right, right here. I've been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath that I've taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the out surface." Aron Ralston (Franco) went hiking in Utah in 2003, but didn't tell anyone where he was headed. When he slipped into a crevice and got his right arm pinned to the wall by a boulder, this became a problem.

I said wonderful things about Buried, another (albeit fictional) lone-actor-trapped-in-a-small-space film. Having finally seen this one, I must admit its superiority. The real Ralston says it's as close to documentary as physically possible, so that's several points in the film's favor. Because his plight lasted longer than the fictional character Reynolds portrayed, Franco's able to take his own acting-to-nothing performance to a more extreme place, led there by the scarcely-seen self-recording that Ralston made at the time. He's aided superbly with the on-screen interpretation of flashbacks and hallucinations in the Beaufoy/Boyle script, which makes a great statement about the horror of extreme solitude, as well as the score from Boyle's partner on Slumdog Millionaire A.R. Rahman. The scene everyone's expecting at the end wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but weaker stomachs might still want to turn away for about ten minutes or so. So many high-caliber films in 2010, and I wish they could all win awards. A+


  1. i was always so amazed by this story when it first happened. i was a bit skeptical when i heard they were adapting the story to film. i'm really excited to see it now.

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  3. I just finished watching this! I was a bit turned off during the first 5 minutes or so due solely to the "extreme" and "edgy" cinematography and music that was reminiscent of the old Surge! soda commercials. I think that establishing Aron as a fun-loving, care-free, seeker of excitement could have been accomplished much less aggressively.

    But once the turn in plot took place, it lent itself very well to telling the story of the journey through his psychosis. i wasn't blown away as much by the artistic aspects of the film as much as it's ability to suck me into the state of mind of Ralston. Definitely worth the matinee!