Well, CBS is televising the 2011 People’s Choice Awards tonight. Is it too late to start cringing at how many honors “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” will receive. If Taylor Lautner seriously wins the Favorite Movie Actor award over greats like DiCaprio or Downey Jr, I will have formally lost faith in all people. Okay, maybe I won’t go that far. At least they didn’t nominate anyone from “The Bounty Hun”---wait, Jennifer Aniston was nominated? Are you serious?
But enough about how much I dislike a bunch of movies.
Let’s get to some great ones…
Please rise for my number five movie of 2010!
“127 Hours” tells the true story of Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who got caught in between a rock and a hard place back in April 2003. Trapped at the arm in the deep canyons of Utah with few supplies and rations and absolutely no means of communication, the narrative plays out more like an endurance test for Ralston. How long can he last in these conditions before he loses his sanity? (Hint: the answer is in the title)
But after five extensive days of free time to think about the consequences of his big screwup, Aron is inspired with memories and visions of his family and friends to make a life-changing sacrifice: amputating his own arm in exchange for freedom.
I have heard director Danny Boyle state in an interview that the film is like an action movie where the hero is not allowed to move. For the most part, he nailed that comparison. For most of the film’s ninety minutes, the tension set up by the scenario is maintained and even intensified as time progresses. And surprisingly, the execution of Ralston’s solitary experience is much more exciting and kinetic than one would expect. Just as Aron Ralston makes his triumph over nature, Boyle proves that he can conquer in filming what seems to be impossible to sell to moviegoers.
The star James Franco gives an astonishing portrayal of Ralston that I really think can get him nominated for an Academy Award. Being the only person onscreen for most of the film, Franco had to do his absolute best in order to keep the audience’s attention. Thankfully, the man completely sells his character, giving him charisma, emotional depth and a convincing transformation from an appealing personality to a desperate soul pleading for some way out of the sticky situation.
The actual amputation scene is certainly not for the squeamish. But please do not miss out on an opportunity to see such a great movie purely because of a little blood. “127 Hours” is a visceral, powerful and haunting film that sticks in your mind for days to come. Fortunately, the emotional rollercoaster ends on a poignant note that will leave you feeling much more fortunate about your life. With probably the greatest emotional payoff of any film this year (along with “Toy Story 3”), “127 Hours” is the work of a truly exceptional filmmaker.