A large part of any movie experience is determined by the expectations set before hand. I roughly knew the story of Aron Ralston who got his hand pinned between a fallen boulder and a canyon wall and had to make some pretty tough choices in order survive; but I hadn't read any reviews or recaps before going to see it, so my expectations were uninformed. I expected a large portion of the screen time to be in set up (getting to the point of being stuck) and a significant amount of scenes of what was happening in the real world when they finally learned he was missing. Nope. It was much more like Tom Hank's Cast Away where one man carries the entire film for most of the two hours. Only unlike Cast Away where Hanks could move about the island and explore new adventures, Jame's Franco's Ralston is stuck in a fixed position within a narrow canyon. The impressive part of 127 hours is that it works. The constantly changing camera angles and video diary make his journey of mental and physical determination through over 5 days of pain and starvation a captivating tale.
Two interesting bits of trivia regarding the video diary from IMDB:
Aron Ralston filmed a daily video diary while he was stuck in the canyon; the footage has only been shown to close friends and family and is kept in a bank vault for safety. Before shooting began both James Franco and director Danny Boyle were allowed to view the footage in order to accurately portray the events in the movie.
The camcorder used by James Franco in the film was the actual one Aron Ralston used when he was trapped in Blue John Canyon.
127 Hours is an intense, emotional real life story that is not for the squeamish and earns the number 11 spot on my list of 25 movies to see before Oscar night 2011 bumping down The Fighter. What did you think of the movie?