What can I say about Danny Boyle's 127 Hours other than that it was sublime. The film is based on the true story of Aron Ralston, an Mountain Climber who unfortunately had to amputate his own arm after it was trapped by a boulder while adventuring in Utah. Tragic.
The film was every bit as epic as any Boyle film could promise and believe me, anticipation was high without an empty seat in the auditorium which included the likes of Edward Norton and Woody Harrelson last night at Ryerson Theatre. And I guess it was well received judging by its resoundingly vocal standing ovation.
There isn't much dialogue of course in the film as we are trapped in the Cave alone with Ralston the whole time as he desperately makes attempts to free himself and also survive on what limited resources he has including a Burrito and Nalgene Bottle full of water. Occasional flashbacks are made to his childhood and his reflections on lost love. The film is gorgeously filmed with lots of creative trickery and multiple-perspectives (we watch in empathic disgust as Aron drinks his own Urine from within the Bottle); overhead shots of the Canyon are simply breathtaking. The film is treated much in the same rich, vibrant hues of Slumdog Millionaire.
James Franco as Aron, is outstanding and although Slumdog collaborator Simon Beaufoy helmed the screenplay again this time, I am certain that the actor himself was left to his own devices in terms of improvisation for much of the film. In the Q&A following the film, Franco advised that he relied almost solely on recorded footage from Ralston's Hand-held Camera when researching the role. Although at times a bit stomach-churning in its gruesome scenes, namely the film's defining moment - the amputation scene - the experience is rewarding. An emotional triumph.
127 Hours, in what will be an exciting slew of Fox Searchlight releases these next few months, hits theatres November 5, 2010. Expect Best Picture, Director and Actor nominations for innovative work. Grade: A+
Check out some photos I got from the Premiere and also stay tuned for a recording of the Q&A over the next couple days.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)