Sunday, January 30, 2011

127 Hours

James Franco is everywhere.

If you take away the movies (of which, according to imdb, there are six more to come just this year), there is the collection of short stories, a regular part on General Hospital (yes, the soap), the guest spot of 30 Rock, and an upcoming run on Broadway.

And he's co-hosting the Oscars this year...

I had not been a big Franco fan. I just chalked him up to a restless young star willing to be overexposed while his flame was hot. I think it was when the short stories came out and I accused him of doing the bait-and-switch (the "while I'm famous I might as well go ahead and cut my album" syndrome).

127 changed that for me. I now love James Franco. Or maybe I love Aron Ralston, the real-life climber Franco plays in the movie. Or Danny Boyle who directed it. Needless to say, I found it to be a great experience all-round. I doubt it will win anything on Oscar night, but it's worthy.

I didn't go in with any sort of expectations or knowing much at all (which is good for me and very, very rare). I knew the premise - basically, a hyper-active hiker gets trapped and cuts off his arm to save his life - and I knew the filming was fast-paced. A face-paced tale where the main character can't move most of the show? I was in, if only to see how Boyle pulled it off.

As you might imagine, this involves some flashback, but mostly fantasy, but here it works.

I'd heard the opening described as "jittery" which worried me a little. Jittery usually translates to bad hand-held camera which makes me nausous. But it's not like that. Boyle uses split screen and fast cuts in a surprising fluid fashion which manages to emphasize the action without the typcial "get it? this guy lives fast" rib poke.

I don't want to give away much more, but be prepared to come out of the show wanting to climb some mountains.

1 comment:

  1. Nice analysis - I'm looking forward to seeing it. I too dismissed Franco until I watched "Freaks and Geeks" a few years ago. His work as Daniel Desario makes you forget about that Spiderman thing.