Based on the true story of canyoneer Aron Ralston, this harrowing film stars James Franco as Ralston, a man who must resort to desperate measures when he gets trapped by a boulder in the isolated Utah canyon.
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127 Hours felt like it took 127 hours to sit through, perhaps because I watched it in the middle of a 23-hr. flight but also perhaps because the contrast between Boyle's hyperkinetic style and the protagonist's static literalness of being trapped between a rock and a hard place challenges Newton's Laws of Motion. Thankfully there was the cinematography. 3.5 stars
James Franco is a great performer, and he is indeed great in this, unfortunately for this film, almost all else fell far short of exceptional. What I did like: the landscapes, (yet not the way they were filmed, per se), the amputation (for the almost animalistic lust to live and the guts it took), and lastly, the sublime use of the goose-bump inducing "Festival" by Sigur Rós, at the closing, "rescue" scene.
Very few directors know better how to use the canvas.. "127 Hours" is perhaps the most intimate action film in history, but first and foremost a character drama pushed to the extremes by James Franco in his best performance and Danny Boyle's most balanced direction yet. Better than that "Slumdog" - and another example of Boyle being able to do just about everything...
Not by any means Boyle's best film - the flashback-structure doesen't work very well. Still, it's an impressive piece of physical cinema and the last twenty minutes with the Sigur Ros-music is masterful, heartwrenching, totally amazing in every way!