08 February 2011
A colleague recently expressed to me his disdain for 127 Hours, lamenting the time he spent watching a movie in which he believes nothing actually happens. “It’s boring. There’s no story. The guy gets stuck. The guy gets out. I already know what happens. There’s already a book. Why should I watch the movie?”
I was dumbfounded. The very essence of my understanding of this man – my respect for him as a fellow cinephile, based on countless hours of discussion and debate of everything from Exit Through the Gift Shop to Grownups - was destroyed. Why would you watch the movie? Why SHOULDN’T you watch the movie?
If you aren’t interested in a gripping emotional tale of a man trapped alone in the desert for 127 hours, a man who stares an imminent death in the face, and overcomes impossible odds to LIVE – you shouldn’t see this movie.
If you aren’t interested in true tales of the triumphant human spirit – you shouldn’t see this movie.
If you aren’t interested in the cinematic excellence of director Danny Boyle, a uniquely gifted filmmaker and Oscar winning director whose work for this particular film is also recognized by the academy – you shouldn’t see this movie.
If you aren’t interested in fellow Oscar nominee James Franco or his 1-man-show tour de force as a man in existential and physical crisis – you DEFINITELY shouldn’t see this movie, as Franco is onscreen by himself for roughly 83% of the film’s running time.
If you aren’t interested in thought-provoking cinema with “what would you do?” implications and potentially unsettling conclusions – you shouldn’t see this movie.
If you ONLY like movies with action or blood or nudity or dumb jokes or some combination thereof – well, you should still see this movie. Because that’s all here too.
But if you insist on ignoring one of the best films of 2010, a monument to the power of cinematic imagination and human inspiration, even when your character is physically trapped in one setting for the majority of the film – you shouldn’t see this movie.
No movie is for every viewer. But this one of the select few released each year that should be seen by all.