127 Hours an Intense Triumph

James Franco dazzles in Danny Boyle's latest
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2010 7:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Critics are absolutely fawning over 127 Hours, Danny Boyle's latest directorial triumph. James Franco plays real-life hiker Aron Ralston, who found himself pinned by a boulder in a cavern and [spoiler alert] amputated his own arm to escape. Here's what critics are saying:

  • Boyle “pumps every frame of 127 Hours with cinematic adrenaline that declares war on the dull gravity of docudrama,” writes Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. “And James Franco does the best, most natural and nuanced acting of his career to date, lacing terror with bracing humor.”

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  • Be warned—it’s intense. “The close-ups of a human being butchering his own limb like a leg of lamb made me feel icy-hot and clammy, as if I might pass out,” writes Dana Stevens of Slate. But the gravity of Aron’s inward journey is lost amidst hyperactive camerawork. “The movie is an extreme athlete incapable of keeping quiet or still.”
  • Even if you already know that Ralston eventually saws off his arm, it “in no way does that diminish the film's psychological suspense, its feverish drama,” writes Owen Gleiberman of EW. “Aron may be pinned, but his soul gets unlocked.”
  • It’s “nearly flawless,” raves A.O. Scott of the New York Times. It “leaves you with the impression of having lived, vicariously but intensely, through something whose meaning is both profound and elusive.”
Click here for more on the film ... and its vomiting, fainting audiences.
(Read more Danny Boyle stories.)

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