Wednesday, February 16, 2011

30 Days of Oscar Day 20: New Release 127 Hours

Movie: 127 Hours
Year: 2011
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (James Franco), Editing, Original Score, Song - "If I Rise", and Adapted Screenplay
Wins:  I'm fairly sure it won't get the Picture or Actor, but all the others are up for grabs I think.  Particularly since all of those aspects of the movie are terrific. 

**Spoilers if you've been pinned under a rock - if you've seen the trailer, no spoilers**

This movie has had almost 5 months to raise my expectations, reveal the plot, cause controversy (people really fainted at THIS but watch the SAW series without a problem?  There's something wrong there.), and basically just up the ante on anyone ever liking it.  Well, I spent a  long weekend in NYC and saw 5 movies in 5 days (a movie lover's dream), and this was one of them.  I'm including it here because it was nominated for so many Oscars and I spent all day driving home so I didn't get to watch an older flick, but I'm pretty sure the next 10 days will be only older movies. 

127 Hours is based on an autobiographical account of a young man getting trapped in a crevasse with his arm pinned under a boulder.  I read a good part of this book when I bought it for my outdoorsy brother when it came out.  So I was really intrigued by how they would put it on screen, and for that alone it will deserve the Adapted Screenplay Oscar.  And Franco deserves his nomination for being able to be in every shot of the movie, not being a terrific guy, and yet still not make the viewer wish he'd die under the rock.  He doesn't start out as a particularly likeable character - he's really intense about escaping the bustle of the city and testing himself physically in the middle of canyons and rocks and caves.  However, it takes a special talent for a movie to make you feel claustrophobic and agoraphobic at the same time.  Watching him trek over the hills and rocks I started to long for a tall building or even trees.  Then when he's in the caverns and holes, all I wanted was to get into an open space.  I have to say, the fact that I got to walk back to the apartment after the movie surrounded by hundreds of people on a beautiful New York February day made me feel safe again (don't judge, I'm odd, I know it). 

The score and cinematography really augment the story - and you'd expect they would need to with such a simple story, but the whole movie is so complexly layered that no one element can really exist without the others.  I can't say I loved the song, but that's a  whole other rant about the terrible nominated songs these days.  I wouldn't be sad if Franco took home the award (I'd be really, really surprised but not sad).  5 of 5 stars/lambs

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was curious as to how they would make a film about a guy stuck in one place for an extended period of time interesting and I think they did a great job.

I'm not a fan of the style, Boyle becomes too flamboyant and flashy, and that brings the film down a bit for me.

Still, it was the best I felt walking out of the theater this year, which is really weird given how disturbing this film is.