127 Hours 4.5/5

127 Hours
James Franco gives a sublime performance throughout this film. We watch him move from cocky jock impressing women, to lamenting his own hubris, to displaying the human will to survive no matter what the personal cost.
Feminism/Gender Representations
The film, based on the book “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”, features periphery female characters, but that is because two thirds of the film portrays Aron Ralston’s quest for survival while in an extreme situation, thinking back over his life, and his treatment of his family and ex-girlfriend.
I enjoyed watching the protagonist’s character develop from a cock sure mountaineering type to a simple man who loves his family and has been placed in an extremely difficult situation. It reminds you that you never really know what is behind someone’s facade, man or woman.
Aron laments his treatment of his parents, especially his mother, as by not returning her call, he realises that no one knows where he is, or that he is even missing. This leads him to lament his own macho bravado:

Aron Ralston: I do see! Now… Is it true that despite, or maybe because you’re a big fucking hard hero… you didn’t tell anyone where you were going?

Aron Ralston: Yeah. That’s absolutely correct.

The strong family theme to the film is heightened by the ending, in which we see the author of the book, and are told nothing more about his life after amputating his own arm other than when he met his partner and that they have a child. This suggests that the purpose of a man’s life is to find someone to start a family with, which is a rather middle American, Christian conclusion to the film, which is surprising given that there is no talk of “God” or a “creator” within the film, except for a small reference to the event being predestined for both Aron, and the rock.

Negatives: Product Placement
I don’t want to give the brands a drop more publicity, so I’m not going to name all of the brands mentioned in the film, but I will say this: I counted 6 products placed in the film.
After dabbling in making a documentary and watching teams work, I realise that making a film is incredibly expensive, especially equipment and post production. I suppose if someone doesn’t want to see products advertised (subtley or otherwise), they should support the movie industry by paying to see films in the cinema, or paying an online service to watch films at home, instead of illegal downloads.
But according to Box Office Mojo, the film had a worldwide gross of just over $60 million USD, with a production budget of $18 million, so the net profit was 42 million USD. Leaves a person wondering why product placement would be needed in a film that was so popular.
Stats: Film Affinity
Running Time
93 min.
 United Kingdom
Danny Boyle
Simon Beaufoy, Danny Boyle (Book: Aron Ralston)
A.R. Rahman
Anthony Dod Mantle, Enrique Chediak
James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, Clemence Poesy, Treat Williams, Kate Burton, Lizzy Caplan
Production Co.
Co-production UK-USA; Fox Searchlight Pictures / Pathé
Drama. Adventure | Mountaing Climbing. Survival Film. Biography. Based on a true story. Nature
Synopsis / Plot
Based on the Aron Ralston true story, a reckless young american mountain climber who became famous in May 2003 when he was forced to amputate his lower right arm with a dull knife in order to free himself after his arm became trapped by a boulder when he was mountaineering in Utah.
2010: Academy Awards: 6 Nominations, incl. Best Picture, Screenplay and Actor (Franco)
2010: Golden Globes: 3 Nominations: Best Actor Drama (James Franco), OST, Screenplay
2010: 8 nominations for BAFTA Awards, including Best British Film, Director and Actor
2010: Independent Spirit Awards: Best Actor (Franco). 3 Nominations, including Best Film
2010: American Film Institute (AFI): Top 10 – Movies of the Year
2010: Critics’ Choice Awards: Best Song. 8 Nominations, including Best Picture

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