06 February 2011
I am continuing in my quest to see each of the 10 films nominated for Best Picture. I only have The Fighter remaining.
127 Hours is definitely a great film. It's weird to see a movie where you already know the story so well. I hadn't read Aron Ralston's book, but you only had to see bits of his interviews or watched a Today Show segment to know what went down. And it's horrifying. So you go into this movie knowing you're gonna watch a guy get stuck and hack his arm off.
Still, I think it's the way the movie was filmed (as opposed to this advance knowledge) that made me feel like I was having a panic attack during the movie. I had to literally take deep breaths and drink water and tell myself it was just a movie. And he'd only been stuck for a minute.
The movie is very claustrophobic and definitely makes you feel like you're trapped there. Not gonna lie, on the drive home I felt a tingle in my right arm, between the wrist and the elbow. Still do, now that I think about it. I went into the movie thinking, "How can a movie about a guy stuck in one place for a long time be interesting?" But it is, and Danny Boyle deserves the Best Director Oscar this year (since Christopher Nolan can't have it) for making a movie that portrays exhilaration, claustrophobia, panic, pain (he has a great way of portraying pain), small joys and triumphs, and, finally, relief. It really is great. He's a really creative, dynamic director, and the film always moves at a quick pace (amazing, considering it's about a dude trapped in a canyon). James Franco is a large part of that too, as he's practically the only person on screen for much of the movie. I thought he did a great job at portraying those same emotions. His reactions all seemed very real. I'd be talking to myself at least twice as much if I were down there. The movie is a great portrayal of what the human body and the human spirit are capable of.
But let's be honest - the chances of me being in that situation are small. If you ever get me out hiking in the desert, it'll be with a satellite phone. And I'll definitely leave a note.