127 Hours (spoilers included)

I finally caught this today; I’m surprised there is nobody buzzing about it on the Dope.

I am also surprised that there is little Oscar optimism about the best picture and actor nominations.

James Franco gave an outstanding, moving performance in a realistic portrayal of a guy in a very uncomfortable predicament (to put it mildly :)).

I thought the hallucination scenes lingered a bit too long, but the arm hacking and the ultimate rescue scene more than made up for that.

Any thoughts?

Though I haven’t been inside a movie theater since 1995, I definitely intend to see this film. I survived my own near-death experience in adjacent Horseshoe Canyon a few years ago. Luckily I made it without losing any limbs.

I have read Aron Ralston’s book, “Between a Rock and Hard Place.” Wish they had used that title.

Care to share your experience?

I saw it last October (and got to meet Danny Boyle!) and again on Thanksgiving Day. I hope to see it again on this re-release. It’s a fantastic film.

It has no chance at Best Picture or Best Actor, but I’m just glad about the nominations. Not just those. It got 6 nominations altogether, all of them very well-deserved.

Best Picture
Best Actor: James Franco
Adapted Screenplay: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
Editing: Jon Harris
Original Score: A.R. Rahman
Original Song: “If I Rise” A.R. Rahman, Rollo Armstrong, Dido (link to song on YouTube)

I think the only one it might possibly win is Song. I hope so anyway. Not only do I love the song, I’ve met Dido and she’s really nice, so I’d like to see her win an Oscar. Franco won’t win over Firth, but it’s great to see him recognized. He’ll be nominated many many many times in his career. His greatest work is yet to come. I’d be rooting for Rahman’s score except that I want Trent Reznor to win. I’d be rooting for the Adapted Screenplay except that I want Debra Granik to win for Winter’s Bone. Reznor and Granik won’t win, I know, but I root for them anyway.

As far as why the wins won’t come, besides The King’s Speech and The Social Network dominating everything, you have to remember that Danny Boyle and his crew gloriously cleaned up at the Oscars year before last with the wonderful Slumdog Millionaire, which won 8 Oscars*. Voters will think, “give someone else a chance.”

*I was rooting hard for Milk myself, but still was delighted that Slumdog did so well, first because I called the Oscar nominations months in advance, second because I liked it a lot, and third because it pissed off a lot of people who inexplicably hate Slumdog Millionaire.

As for why there’s little buzz or enthusiasm for this film, there’s also the fact that many don’t want to spend $20+ to watch a guy cut off his arm. I may watch it when it comes out on DVD/TV/whatever, but my wife and I wouldn’t spend $20 to see it… and, looking from the box office grosses, it appears that this lack of buzz is consistent with this films lack of business.

Incredibly compelling and well-acted. Really worth seeing on the big screen.

Oh good lord, are you really under the impression that the entire movie is about and showing him cutting his arm off? That event takes up less than 2 minutes of the 94 minute runtime. The rest of the movie is made up of scenes from right before he was trapped where you’re getting to know him, his efforts to free himself, his realizations that he brought this on himself by being a dumbass, how he survives using very clever means in the 127 hours before he has to make that terrible decision, and flashbacks to the people left behind, giving you an idea of why his survival instinct came surging back after he had given up and was at peace, resigned to die. It’s an inspiring movie about survival instinct, and the value of loved ones in bucking up the human spirit. He’s in a dire situation for that part of the film, but there are several other parts that are very amusing. It’s hardly gloom and doom throughout, and you’d be surprised at how entertaining most of it is. It’s worth seeing in any case for James Franco’s performance.

There’s a lack of business because people misunderstand what the movie is like, just like you. It has nothing to do with the quality of the movie. There’s little buzz because it has no chance at awards, so all the buzz is going to the movies that do. That has nothing to do with the quality of the movie either. How much buzz is there about Winter’s Bone? Not much, but it’s still one of the best movies of the year. There was enough buzz that reached the ears of the people who mattered, the voters of the AMPAS, who rightly made it (and Winter’s Bone) one of the 10 nominees for Best Picture.

At the end of the movie, the prologue text says that Aron’s premonition came true and he met his future wife sometime after his ordeal. I must have missed something; what premonition? Anyone remember the scene or approximately when it was in the movie so I can go refresh my memory?

I agree this movie has no chance to win any of the big categories. I didn’t even really love it, because quite frankly I kind of thought Rolston as portrayed by Franco was a douche. Charming, maybe, but definitely self-indulgent and cocky.

Though any movie with Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn and Lizzie Caplan in it is aces in my book.

By way of comparison, I was very pleasantly surprised when Crash beat Munich, Good Night and Good Luck, Brokeback Mountain, and Capote for Best Picture in 2004. It didn’t get the press that Brokeback did, but I think the voters made the right decision. Which gives me hope for Franco and 127 Hours.

For some reason, I became very captivated by this movie. It’s a journey that stays put in one place. Combined with the completely fresh direction, editing and music of the movie, I felt inside the ordeal from the get-go. Franco was amazing.

I don’t quite understand the sole focus on what he had to do to escape, although it makes for an incredibly visceral climax, the entire film is gripping all the way though. You’ve never seen a “survival” or “Based on True Events” film quite like this one.

Oscars all around, IMHO (although, I’m not holding my breath). It just happens to be my favorite out of the noms this year.

Ellis Dee: His premonition was that he’d have a son if he made it out. It was the last delusion he had before the “surgery”, and what motivated him to ensure his survival.

In my opinion, Crash was the (far) weakest movie of that bunch.

Anyway, I didn’t get the premonition part either. Anyone?

JohnT: You really pay $20 to go to the movies? I saw 127 Hours for a fiver.

I was working in a video store when these films came out, so I had the luxury of seeing them for free, and was able to watch them all both alone, and also with a fellow movie buff. When put in that context (for me, anyway), I was able to gather a viewpoint that others may not necessarily agree with, but that rings true with me.

I liked the movie, but I feel that way too. If Brokeback Mountain wasn’t going to win, I would have preferred Munich win. I thought that was an amazing movie.

The visions of the young (3-5 year old) blond boy. It wasn’t very clear (I don’t think), but he was having a vision/premonition of his future son.

I liked it, and thought it was a good movie, but I’m not sure it’s Oscar-worthy material in terms of acting or best picture. I believe if they hadn’t made the expansion to ten films permanent, it would not have a BP nomination.

As for your impression of Rolston as portrayed by Franco - I don’t think that was a mistake. I read a bit about him after, and a little before, and Rolston was (perhaps still is) self-indulgent and cocky. For me, I don’t think that had a negative effect on my enjoyment of the film - I’m not sure what it was, but I wasn’t blown away. And I say this having been blown away by Boyle’s films in the past.

Bumped because I finally saw this yesterday. I had skipped it when it first came out because I’m a little squeamish about gore and I didn’t know if I could handle the climax (and I couldn’t I had to close my eyes for the actual severing).

But aside from the two minutes where I had my eyes closed, it was really good and I’m glad I saw it. Franco was fantastic, going through a transformation not unlike the traditional stages of grief. It made me wonder how many liberties the filmmakers took with reality and I may go read the book now.

BTW, I was wondering, when he had the vision of the little boy, if he was imagining the son he’d never have if he died. So at the epilogue I patted myself on the back for getting that.

Holy cow, James Franco was a revelation. He owned that role. A flawless, seemingly effortless, phenomenal performance.

Tangentially related, but Rolston was on the show “Minute to Win It” yesterday (2/22) and won $125,000 for the charity of his choice. I don’t remember the name of it, but it is based on Colorado and, from the way he described it, is a wilderness preservation group.

Yes, watching him (Rolston) again last night I couldn’t help but be thrilled and moved to have it confirmed that someone that had such an amazing story to tell was also in fact such a wonderful person. The guy is just plain solid and will continue to be an inspiration for a long time to come. I loved his answer when asked if there’s anything he can’t do… “Shuffle cards.”

His son. One of his visions was a bunch of people he loved, sitting on a sofa. Most of them we’d met. And then there was a little boy, who we hadn’t seen yet, his child. That was what inspired him to just do it already. The final real life Aron was shown with his wife and the even younger version of that son

I thought Franco did a good job. I thought Boyle overdid it a bit. It does have a marketing problem, in that “it’s the story of the guy who had to cut his arm off in a cave” is a hard sell at the box office. It’ll probably do much better on netflix where reviewers will say “it isn’t what you think.”

IRL, Ralston is a douche, so the casting was spot on. We have several friends in common and I met him twice when he had both arms and he was an asshole and a prick then. Seen him once post-amputation and he is still an insufferable douche. A friend had remarked that he hoped the experience would bring Aron humility, but it just inflated his ego.

I don’t know how any of you actually got through the book, it was horribly written, but again it might be my bias because I really don’t like the guy.