24 November 2010

127 Hours

Why I don't Rock Climb

After viewing the trailer for Danny Boyle’s follow up to his Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, I knew two things for certain. First, the shaky-cam will keep the wife out. Second, I want to see this, bad. So, off I went. When the opening credits start, my first thought was, this music is composed by A.R. Rahman, the Academy Award winning composer for Slumdog Millionaire. So, it seems pointless to say this, but I loved the music, for about 90% of the film. The other 10% seemed a little but too much Slumdog. This does not take place in India, but Utah.

127 Hours follows the true story of Aron Ralston’s struggle to survive after being pinned by a boulder while exploring the Blue John Canyon in Utah. The movie opens with Aron, played by James Franco, packing his gear for his weekend expedition. There is lot of emphasis on his water canteen, and the fact that he doesn’t take his Swiss Army knife.

He wakes up the next morning and begins his journey. Aron documents his adventure with is digital camera and his video camera. On his way to Blue John Canyon, he comes across two young ladies that are lost. They are simply named, Kristi and Megan, played by Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn. They enjoy themselves before going their separate ways. Shortly after, disaster strikes Aron.

Once he is trapped, Aron keeps his cool. Over the next 127 hours, he tries many ideas on how to free himself from his predicament. He rations his food and water. He uses his climbing ropes to keep himself warm. He documents his progression on his camera each day. He slowly starts to lose it. His mind wanders. He remembers his past. He hallucinates. He sees family, friends, and lovers. In the end, the inevitable solution becomes his last hope.

127 Hours is truly no more than Cast Away, only an hour shorter, no Wilson, and James Franco instead of Tom Hanks. But I loved it. I found Cast Away a bit boring. Nothing against Tom Hanks or Wilson, but I just thought it was too long.

Like Cast Away, 127 Hours rests solely on the shoulders of its main character. James Franco’s acting is superb. His facial acting carries this film a long way. I could see his first Oscar nomination for sure. Danny Boyle’s direction is top-notch, and what you would expect from him. Rahman’s music helped set the pace and the mood. The script could see a nod for adapted screenplay. It could easily see a Best Picture nomination. It was one of the best movies I have seen all year. I have seen about 40 movies that have come out in theaters this year. Not all in theaters, though. I would have to say 127 Hours would make my top five. No secret that Inception and The Town are my two favorites. I would also include Toy Story 3 and The Social Network with 127 Hours to round it out.

Verdict: If you are not squeamish, because “the scene” is very graphic, and can handle the shaky cam approach, you should definitely see this movie. I have read that over a dozen people have passed out while watching. I did not pass out, or even come close. But, I could see why some people would. It was, however, a great way to spend 90 minutes. Along the way, look for quick appearances by Treat Williams, Lizzy Caplan, and Clémence Poésy.

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