Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rock Solid

What would you do to save your own life? In 2003, Aron Ralston was out climbing in Robbers Roost, Utah, when he got stuck in a canyon — his hand trapped under a boulder. Six days later, dehydrated, hungry, and nearly out of options, he somehow found the strength to free himself by first breaking his arm and then amputating it from the elbow down. Ralston told his story in the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and now it's come to the big screen in the thrilling film 127 Hours.

Co-written and directed by Danny Boyle (who won an Oscar for directing Slumdog Millionaire), 127 Hours is just about the most exciting movie it could possibly be. Like Boyle's other films, and despite its seemingly quiet story, it's infused with life, and it comes alive through vibrant photography, a generally upbeat soundtrack, and a fantastic performance by James Franco, who plays Ralston. The first 10 minutes effectively capture Ralston's adventurous spirit, and the film somehow stays at that height, even when Ralston isn't doing much. 127 Hours is like Cast Away, if Wilson was a boulder and Robert Zemeckis had a fire lit under him. It's like Into the Wild might have been if Christopher McCandless had tried a little harder to live. 127 Hours is better than both of those films — gorier and more stomach-turning too — and when it's over, you'll feel inspired, elated, and overcome by the strength of the human spirit. It's a must-see. I'm giving 127 Hours an A–.



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