Danny Boyle deserves all the credit in the world for this directorial achievement. Personally, I think he did an outstanding thing taking on a subject which is hard to put on screen for one hour and half and keep you interested in the character and keep things entertaining: the true story of Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who had to resort to one of the most desperate measures in order to fade death.
A profound survival story that doesn't get too melodramatic nor boring or predictable. It challenges the viewer by putting him through the same experience as Aron's thanks to the amazing study of his character and his survival process. 127 Hours entertains by mixing up humor with drama and tense situations. A great journey through Aron's personal experience that goes from his first moments of clarity and then sanity, disappointment and hope, through his hallucinations and premonitions, through his both states of denial and acceptance of the upcoming result and ultimately, through his impressive ambition and desire to live and not accept death as a denouement. James Franco is responsible for caring this movie and make it entertaining thanks to his moving performance. He manages so well to balance his emotional state and "play" with his own sanity. His presence on the screen kept the audience in the back of their seats. Speaking of being in the back of the seat, I heard a lot of talk about the "cutting arm" sequence which made people fainted or whatever. I expected it to be some gore stuff but it turned out to be more than just OK. It was nothing that harsh to watch... I don't know. Maybe for some really sensitive guys the scene might be a problem but for me it was really nothing that outrageous.
Combining the nonconformism in editing with great photography, beautiful landscapes and amazing cinematography 127 Hours stands-out as a striking visually piece of filmmaking. The scenes were cut and put together in an intelligent manor and that majorly helped the movie's pacing. The soundtrack is also one of the best I've heard in a long time. A.R. Rahman is responsible for this beautiful mixture of tribal techno music and uplifting pure melody. The most impressive piece of music I consider it to be within the last couple of minutes right before his "salvation" and Dido's vocal performance in the film was destined to make the public to engage emotionally in the movie.
127 Hours is another big step in Danny Boyle's career. A strong film that paints the road to survival filled with hope and deception. Carried by a strong performance, by a solid narrative structure and dazzling technical detail, 127 Hours needs to be in anyone's top 10 of 2010.
Art Direction: 9/10.