Nominated for six Oscars in 2010, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Franco)
In April 2003 Aron Ralston, a 27-year-old hiker, fell and was trapped in a narrow slot in Blue John Canyon in Utah, his right arm wedged against the rock wall by a boulder. Mr. Ralston’s ordeal – described in many interviews after the fact and in his lively, unaffected memoir, Between A Rock And a Hard Place– was a struggle for survival and a profound existential crisis. But it was also, more pressingly, a practical challenge. Mr. Ralston (here played by Oscar nominee James Franco), a trained engineer and a skilled, if sometimes careless, outdoorsman, understood his predicament, above all, as a series of technical problems. His solution was grisly and dramatic: using the blade of a cheap multipurpose tool, he cut off the immobilized arm between the elbow and the wrist, freeing himself after more than five days. Extreme as this action was, it was also logical, even downright ingenious. In bringing this horrific, perversely inspirational story to the screen, Danny Boyle has stayed true to Mr. Ralston’s can-do spirit. 127 Hours is itself the frequently dazzling and perpetually surprising solution to an imposing set of formal and creative conundrums. The stakes are not life and death, but rather life and art.
– A. O. Scott, The New York Times