Danny Boyle’s Oscar-nominated film “127 Hours” vying for Best Picture, Best Actor (James Franco) and Best Screenplay (Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy) poises to be one unforgettable experience for the movie audience. People who have seen it fainted and some eventually collapsed while watching the movie due to one key scene where James Franco, who plays real-life trekker Aron Ralston amputated himself to be freed from a boulder that pinned his arm.
Directed and written by Danny Boyle who gave us the eye-opener reality hit “Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours” is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's remarkable adventure to save himself after a falling boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated slot canyon in Utah. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers, family, and the two hikers (Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara) he met before his accident. Ralston battles the elements and his own demons to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary. “127 Hours” is a thrilling story that will take an audience on a never before experienced journey and prove what we can do when we choose life.
From the moment he first began reading Aron Ralston’s best-selling memoir, ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place,’ Boyle knew exactly what kind of film he wanted to convey from this real-life story, one that would use a highly subjective camera to penetrate the lead character’s personal journey, to get under Aron’s skin and head in a way no other medium could. “I knew I wanted to bring the audience into the canyon with Aron and to not let them go until he himself is released,” the director explains. Boyle goes on: “People often say about the story, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I could do that.’ But I think we all would do anything we could for this life that is so beautiful and keeps us going. What I think Aron experienced in that canyon over those days was a sudden realization of the full value of life. One of the ideas of the film is that he was never really alone in the canyon. But he was surrounded spiritually by everyone he’d ever known or loved or dreamed about. That made the difference and we wanted to get that feeling into the story.”
Boyle also knew that there was only one actor they felt that could convey the conviction and emotion needed to draw the audience in. “James has this extraordinary technical facility,” notes Boyle, “and that’s what was needed because 127 HOURS is nearly a one-man film. But James went beyond that, stepping up to every single challenge, physical and emotional, that was thrown at him. He was so wonderful for this role. He got so into it, it became, in a way, as much about James Franco as it was about Aron Ralston.”
It was a wildly surreal experience, Ralston confesses, to see the most profound experience of his life re-enacted by James Franco and the crew – and being on the set left him reeling back into all that he had seen and felt in those six days. “It was as if my 2010 self was able to look back at my 2003 self and watch myself escape the canyon,” he says.
“127 Hours” opens February 9 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.