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127 Hours (2010)

"Before viewing" talks don't have spoilers, but since there's no "After viewing" talk for this one, comments may have spoilers. More»» by Randy Heffner

Is the film worth your time?

127 Hours is an intense but important film. As basically a one-man show (with flashbacks involving additional characters), it provides an in-depth exploration of a person left alone with their thoughts, the elements, and the shadow of the grim reaper. If you knew your death were slowly approaching, yet you had no hope of contact with anyone, to where would your thoughts turn? What did you leave undone today that you would regret? Yesterday? Any time? What resolutions would you make, on a prayer that you might somehow survive? What would you do to survive? If you survived, how soon would you forget all this?

These questions are, in a sense, standard “what if” questions yet, even though they were real for Aron Ralston, they could come off pedantically on film. But Danny Boyle’s work in 127 Hours — together with James Franco’s excellent performance — brings them to engaging life. With creative camera work, flashbacks, hallucinations, seemingly unrelated crowd scenes, and more, Boyle brings us inside Ralston’s pain and struggle, giving us a chance to know ourselves a bit better.

If you would watch 127 Hours only for entertainment, it’s best to stay away. If you enter into the film’s world and its exploration of our (your) approach to life, it is very much worth your time.

Aron Ralston loves the outdoors: biking, hiking, climbing, rappelling — most anything it seems. Often alone. He is highly experienced, though, and when he’s out in the open air he’s in heaven. Then one day, things go wrong. While he’s alone. Miles from anywhere; miles from anyone. Running time: 94 min. NOTE: With 127 Hours, most reviews have spoilers about the most significant event in the film.

What happens to the main character easily prompts painful imaginings, and it leads to a very intense and bloody scene (to be clear: some viewers have reportedly fainted at this point). Some strong language. A couple of scenes show young adults removing clothes, but only bare shoulders are shown.

  • Director: Danny Boyle
  • Screenplay: Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy based on book by Aron Ralston
  • Leads: James Franco
  • Cinematography: Enrique Chediak, Anthony Dod Mantle
  • Music: A.R. Rahman

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NOTE: Although Before viewing talks don't have spoilers, comments below MAY have spoilers
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