Posted on 9/03/11 09:11 PM
Personal Score: 9.5/10
Danny Boyle has been one of my favorite directors for a while now, and this film is a great example as to why. I won't go so far as to say he's the only one who could make a story such as this a great film, but he's probably the only one who could make it this great.
James Franco stars as Aron Ralston. Aron is a young, adventurous, and often reckless person who makes the foolish mistake of hiking into the Utah wilderness without informing anyone as to where he'd be. He's experienced, cocky, and of no mind that anything will go wrong. The trouble is that it started to go wrong before he left.
We all mostly know what happens. Aron falls along with a large rock and when they land his arm is between the rock and the crevice wall, and since he told no one where he'd be going, no one will know where to look for him. Here is where a lesser filmmaker or simply the wrong one would have gone in a less effective direction.
I can imagine a different movie where there are cuts between Aron and his worried family, or some kind of search and rescue operation with a determined person who will stop at nothing to find him because they're certain he's alive. We all know that drill. Boyle, thankfully, doesn't do this. His focus is on Aron and Aron only. He tells his story while at the same time making us wonder what we would be willing to do in the same situation. Could you really gather enough grit and determination to cut off your arm, and with such a poor tool? Would you drink your own urine when you ran out of water? What would you think about in your time alone, thinking you might die? What would your regrets be? Your shattered dreams? Your hope?
127 Hours succeeds in asking these types of questions and showing Aron's perspective what his answers would be. Heck, a lot of this film is all about perspective. There are a few times, here and there, that the imagery and memories are a bit ineffective or strange, but never so much that they harm the film. It is an excellent work by an excellent filmmaker, and James Franco's performance was definitely worthy of its Best Actor nomination, and in many other Oscar seasons it would have won. This is easily one of 2010's best films.