Friday, October 22, 2010

'Tis the Season

What season you ask?  Awards Season here in Hollywood!  It is that 3-4 month period starting in October every year when studios and filmmakers roll out the movies that they hope will bring home the Golden Globe, Oscar, and guild hardware come early 2011.  It is a boon for us film fans here in Los Angeles, since it means many, many free film screenings, often accompanied by cast/crew interviews/Q&A sessions.

The season kicked off for me last night with a Variety Screening Series preview of 127 Hours, Danny Boyle's beautifully shot film about Aron Ralston, the hiker who spent five days trapped in a remote canyon after being pinned by a boulder.  After exhausting all possibilities, Ralston takes extreme measures.  I'll hold off on specifics, though most who see the movie go in knowing how the story ends... In fact, when I first heard they were making this movie, I wasn't sure what I thought of it.  Or more accurately, I wasn't sure HOW they could make a film out of the story (this concern was echoed by writer Simon Beaufoy, who during the Q&A session admitted that when director and collaborator, Danny Boyle first gave him Ralston's book he thought that it was "the first book on mountaineering that was absolutely unfilmable.")

Danny Boyle mentioned that he had been intrigued about the Ralston's story since reading about it back in 2003 and actually met with him about a film around 2006.  However, at that point, the adventurer was only interested in making a docu-drama style movie.  But, after the success of the Boyle/Beaufoy team on Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, and events in his own life, Ralston finally agreed to the filmmakers' vision for the story. 

The way that they -- along with lead James Franco, who is fantastic -- went about crafting the film (which Boyle describes as "an action movie where the lead character doesn't move") is really clever and engaging.


  1. Wow...I had no idea they made a film out of that. Crazy. Hope it's easier to watch than "Open Water," but I assume it would be, with Danny Boyle at the helm.

  2. The style (music, editing, split-screen, etc.) and narrative devices they employ won't be everybody's cup o' tea, but I really enjoyed it.


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