It’s looking more and more like Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours is going to be Fox Searchlight’s horse for the 2011 Oscar race. Their film Conviction is getting a mostly mixed response at TIFF and Black Swan being described as “too dark” for the Academy’s taste. They also might have a contender in Never Let Me Go, although that film seems to have heavily divided critics and Another Year will be a more likely British favorite. However, 127 Hours seems like a solid film to put an Oscar campaign behind with a very positive response at both Telluride and TIFF and a star that has some serious Oscar chances.
For those of us who are not fortunate enough to be in Toronto with the mass of critics, the first clip of 127 Hours has appeared online. It shows the full clip of Aron Ralston (Franco) showing two women an underground lake. The clip begins after Franco has already descended the chasm and fallen into the water so we don’t get much of a glimpse of his performance other than shouting at the women to join him. However, we do get to see Danny Boyle’s characteristic fast-paced style. In the brief clip it doesn’t appear that any shot returns to the same angle as the previous and Boyle even goes so far as to break the 180 degree rule, shooting the women from one side and then switching to the opposite side the next time we see them.
Check out the clip below and following that are a few more raves from TIFF.
Tim Grierson of Screen:
A fully immersive experience thatâ€™s equal parts gruelling and gripping, director Danny Boyleâ€™s follow-up to his Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire may be too harrowing for some viewers, but the adventurous will be treated to a film that builds to a beautifully calibrated emotional climax. Based on the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston, who in 2003 got trapped in a remote canyon and was forced to cut off his arm to escape, 127 Hours features James Franco in a performance thatâ€™s largely a solo act as his character fights to stay alive (and sane) while partly pinned underneath a boulder.
Chris Bumbray of JoBlo:
For James Franco, this is essentially a one man show, and he’s brilliant. No matter what, Franco’s going to get nominated for an Oscar, as this is truly a knock-out performance. Franco’s a very likable guy, so we’re rooting for Ralston throughout. Once he takes certain desperate measures to escape (a quick Google search will reveal what he did, but I won’t spoil it here), you’ll be in agony watching him suffer (the theatre was echoing with groans and winces from the presumably hardened industry audience).
What do you think of the film’s Oscar chances?