USA, 2010, 94 Minute Running Time
Fresh from the success of the Academy Award–winning Slumdog Millionaire (SDFF31), British filmmaker Danny Boyle radically changes gears with the true story of Aron Ralston, a cocky outdoorsman (and longtime Colorado resident) who, in 2003, found himself fighting for his life in the wilds of Utah after a tumbling boulder pinned him to a canyon wall. Unable to extricate himself, he ran out of food, water and energy. Five days after his ordeal began, Ralston was forced to amputate his own arm with a blunt knife in order to save his life.
In what amounts to a compelling one-man show, actor James Franco covers the whole gamut of Ralston's emotions—and of the inventive approaches he takes to his horrifying circumstances. With his one good arm, he fashions a set of pulleys in an attempt to move the boulder. He also captures his thoughts and strategies on film with the camcorder he's brought along on the trip—reconsidering his past, fantasizing about escaping the certain death he seems to be facing and, in some unexpectedly witty moments, even laughing about his fate.
Based on Ralston's memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Boyle's dramatization is a harrowing piece of filmmaking; neither the director nor his cinematographers, Anthony Dod Mantle and Enrique Chediak, shirk their responsibilities to the grisly truth. If, in Trainspotting, Boyle revealed more about the lives of Scottish junkies than the squeamish could handle, in 127 Hours, the 2010 recipient of the Mayor's Career Achievement Award does the same for his adventurer-hero—the good, the bad and the shockingly ugly.
Special thanks to Fox Searchlight
In cooperation with Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association, CU-Denver Young Alumni, Roxborough Hiking Club
DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle
Producer: Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, John Smithson
Editor: Jon Harris
Screenwriter: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
Cinematographer: Enrique Chediak, Anthony Dod Mantle
Principal Cast: James Franco, Kate Mara, Lizzy Caplan
The following short films will screen before this film...
A meditative look at a 74-year-old man’s daily one-mile swim in San Francisco Bay.... more
You might also enjoy...
In this psychological drama, Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream
) focuses on the obsessive world of classical ballet—specifically the rivalry between delicate Nina (Natalie Portman) and hot-blooded Lily (Mila Kunis) as they vie for the leading role in Swan Lake.