127 HOURS (Danny Boyle)
A guy trapped in a boulder and cuts his arm off. What's the exciting thing about that? Miraculously Danny Boyle, who is a prolific filmmaker makes it interesting.
James Franco gives an Oscar-worthy performance. It may not be strong enough to beat favorites Colin Firth or Jesse Eisenberg, but his Oscar nod is much deserved. Here he plays a real life character, Aron Rolston. Franco exhibits much energy for his character, breathing life, combining funny, sentimental, and adventurous persona. The redemption part towards the end is just pitch perfect.
Rather than be a lifeless documentary, Boyle sets up his film with varying shots of Franco, coupled with a sweep of the mountainous vista, examining every detail, every raindrop. We see Aron's flashbacks, regrets, and hopes. We get seduced by Sunkist, by Gatorade, by beer. We feel what Aron feels. We also want to get out of that boulder, and when he does, we feel the same relief.
The music by A.R Rahman is a strong contender for the Oscars. Now Hans Zimmer (INCEPTION) and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (SOCIAL NETWORK) do have serious competition. It's anybody's ballgame.
As Franco cuts his arm off I found myself squishing in imagined pain. That really was the film's highlight.
A great achievement in filmmaking, 127 HOURS is a film that must not only be seen, but experienced. Some films are seen, but 127 HOURS should be felt with all five senses.