MOVIE: 127 Hours (2010)

As you all know, I love horror movies.  I have absolutely no problem watching people have their heads chopped off by a maniac with an axe.  Spurting blood, gushing wounds, terrible maimings?  No sweat!  But realistic violence is a whole other game for me, and it’s why I didn’t go see this film in theaters.  I knew how the story ended — not only because of all the buzz about it, but because years and years ago I saw an episode of I Shouldn’t Be Alive about Aron Ralston, and I never, ever forgot it.  If I was going to watch this film, I needed to watch it at home with one finger over the fast-forward button.

So, let me jump to the end for those of you with similar concerns so I can tell you it’s all going to be okay.  Suck it up and go rent this movie.  Yes, he cuts his own hand off with a dull pocket knife, just like everybody says.  Yes, you see parts of this in the film.  But though I looked away a few times, I made it through that scene and I came out okay.  And, more importantly, so did Aron Ralston.

For those living under a rock, this is the true story about the day Aron Ralston was out biking and hiking in Utah and fell into a crevasse along with a very large rock.  On the plus side, the rock kept him from crashing all the way to the bottom.  On the minus side, however, it pinned him between the two walls of the crevasse, trapping his hand and leaving him dangling for — yep — 127 hours.

Low on water and food, Aron did what most of us would have done in the first 48 of those hours — he screamed for help, he thought about his family, he tried desperately to free himself.  But when it became clear no help was coming, and as he watched the exposed thumb of his trapped hand turn blue and die from lack of circulation, he knew there was only one thing left to do if he wanted to live — he had to get out.  And he had to do it himself.

This film is beautifully made and extremely well-told.  I’ve never been much of a James Franco fan — loved him in Freaks & Geeks but haven’t been terribly impressed by him since.  But now that I’ve seen this film, I get why everybody’s all ga-ga these days.  He was incredible.  I believed every minute.  His fear, his sadness, his regrets, his courage, and his incredible desire to live all came through with so much intensity I was almost startled at the end of the film to see an actual picture of the real Aron Ralston.  I forgot there WAS a real Aron Ralston.

So, inhale, pop in the DVD, exhale, and get ready for a truly amazing film.  Danny Boyle has long been one of my favorite directors, and movies like this are why.  Excellent!

[Netflix it | Buy it]

Genre:  Drama
Cast:  James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, Sean Bott, Treat Williams

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3 Responses to “MOVIE: 127 Hours (2010)”

  1. Liz Says:

    James Franco was good in the Spiderman movies as Willem Dafoe’s son, and Peter Parker’s erstwhile best friend. “Green Goblin Jr.?” But he was pretty lame at the Academy Awards. I think this movie sounds good – but it’s nice to know ahead of time that the guy survives.

  2. Florence Says:

    HUGE HUGE fan of all of Danny Boyle’s movies-but I too couldn’t bring myself to go see this one when it was in theaters because of the same worries-So Thank you Meg-you have definitely talked me off the ledge!

  3. briantoohey Says:

    One of the best Franco performances… Pineapple Express. All of the sublime humor and partially-caged crazy eyes from the Freaks & Geeks days. If you haven’t already, check it out. One of my favorite Franco performances next to 127 Hours, which of course is in a totally different vein.

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