Monday, January 31, 2011
I was blown away by 127 Hours.
The film, a true story about hiker Aron Ralston, and the measures he must take after becoming trapped in a cave in the middle of nowhere, plays more like a music video than a feature film. The director, Danny Boyle, constantly assaults the viewer with a jumble of images and sounds, and lets them affect each audience member in their own personal way. There are no straightforward flashbacks, chronologically laying out Ralston's entire backstory. Instead we get surreal, fleeting glimpses at past events, that draw the viewer into the emotions and feelings, rather than the logistics and details. The movie is more concerned with how this situation would make someone "feel", than by detailing Ralston's efforts to escape.
The movie is Franco's to lose, as he is the only one on screen for the majority of it. And I'm happy to say he knocks it out of the park. Who would've guessed the spunky little rebel from Freaks and Geeks had these kind of dramatic chops? Franco's intense performance culminates in one of my favorite scenes, and one that will most likely live on in cinematic history, where Ralston performs a morning talk show program featuring himself as the host and guest, for the benefit of his cheap little camcorder.
Boyle shows a return to form with this film, after his Disney channel original movie Slumdog Millionaire inexplicably took home Best Picture. His fast paced editing and frenetic story telling ability call to mind his earlier works, most noticeably the one and only Trainspotting.
This is the eighth 2011 Best Picture nominee I've seen. I don't know that I would say it's the best picture of the year, but I personally loved it's raw energy and unapologetic originality. I would like to write more about it, but I don't want to spoil even one of the brilliant quirks or images that make up this dazzling film. This is one of those movies that needs to be experienced to be believed.