Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A super brief movie review: 127 Hours (2010)

127 Hours (2010)
Director - Danny Boyle
94 Min; R
James Franco - Aron Ralston
Kate Mara - Kristi
Amber Tamblyn - Megan

Danny Boyle, director of acclaimed films such as Trainspotting, 28 Days Later..., Sunshine, and Slumdog Millionaire, teams up with James Franco to tell the true story of adventurer Aron Ralston who, while hiking and climbing alone in a Utah canyon, finds himself in a life-threatening situation when his arm becomes lodged between the canyon wall and a large, heavy boulder. Having told nobody of his plans he is forced into 127 hours of survival which end in an unimaginable act of self-preservation.

This is a quintessential Boyle film, from the pacing to the cinematography to the ultra-fast-moving scenes of colors and it succeeds. Franco is very good as the loner hiker who films himself throughout his ordeal, often lamenting at his shortfalls in life but never fully giving up hope.

I am pleasantly surprised that the film was not as formulaic as I anticipated, using very brief flashbacks and thoughts in Ralston's mind, by the final climactic scene (which is done very very well but will undoubtedly be tough for some to watch) I found that Franco and Boyle were able to draw us just enough into Ralston's life to care about him, but not hammer us with the minute details of his life. I wouldn't say this is one of my favorite films of the year, but it is a very good one.

**** out of 5

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