Saturday, January 29, 2011

127 Hours

I don’t look forward to many movies these days, not being a fan of slasher flicks or teen romcoms.  But I have been looking forward to 127 Hours since I saw the first preview.  I had seen the story of Aron Ralston on 60 Minutes.  It is a frightening and totally engrossing story of stupidity and heroism.

The movie gets it just right.  It shows Aron’s self-amputation without showing every drop of blood.  Its strength, for me, was the development of Aron’s thoughts and fears as his entrapment moves from hours into days.  Aron is shown as a brave but impetuous dude who, typical of young people, never thinks about the horrors that may happen, only about the pleasure of achieving his goals.  The use of the video camera that Aron had with him allows for some very tender expressions of regret for his actions and love of his parents.  His hallucinations and dreams fill in his background and let us get to know more about this fascinating man.  The scenery, the Utah landscape, is breathtaking.

James Franco has been nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for his depiction of Aron.  In my opinion, he deserves it.  He’s in just about every frame of the 93–minute movie.  He goes through an amazing range of emotions and experiences while not moving an inch from the place where he is trapped.  The role has to have been a huge challenge for Mr. Franco, and he met it and then some.  I was riveted during the scenes when he was removing his arm, not with my eyes closed—it wasn’t that hard to watch—but from the actor’s communication of the desperation, hope, and resignation that brought him to do what he had to do.

I liked this movie a lot.  I look forward to the DVD (to be released on March 1, 2011).  I hope the DVD has extra materials that tell us how they made the movie.  Aron’s entrapment is shown so realistically, yet camera angles and close–ups are so well done that it’s obvious they either used an amazing mock–up for a set or used computer technology to get the shots.

A perfect movie for a cold winter day.






The real Aron Ralston

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