Based on Between A Rock and A Hard Place, the book Aron Ralston wrote about his ordeal of being trapped in a slot canyon by a massive boulder pinning his hand, 127 HOURS was conceived by director/co-screenwriter Danny Boyle as a spiritual journey of a man forced to confront the solitary existence he had chosen for himself. When I spoke to Boyle on Ocober 15, 2010, he explained about why that subtext is the crux of bringing the story of a man trapped alone in a remote canyon to vibrant cinematic life.
A modest man despite his Oscar(tm) for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Boyle was effusive in his praise for his star, James Franco, while gently but firmly deflecting any praise aimed at himself for the visual impact he contributed to the film. We started the conversation, though, with my curiosity about why he would want to accept the position of Artistic Director of the 2012 London Olympics for more about that, click here).
Boyle doesn’t make it easy for himself. After exploring the teeming slums of India with SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, he’s turned in a different direction with 127 HOURS. In it, James Franco, as intrepid hiker Aron Ralston, spends most of the film trapped in a sliver of a crevice carved very deep into one of the more remote areas of Utah. Boyle, ever willing to take the same sort of chances upon which his protagonist thrives, has taken a story that seems to defy filming and turned it into raw poetry that celebrates life with the same vitality of SLUMDOG, and with just as much visceral energy. 127 HOURS is not a film to be viewed lightly. It is the stuff of myth told in a modern vernacular. It’s harsh, exuberant, and ultimately life-changing.