September 13th, 2010
03:37 PM ET
Two years ago, the hottest ticket at the Toronto International Film Festival was Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” - which broke in Toronto days after its buzz-building premiere at Telluride - and went on to take the world by storm.
And while there isn’t much outward similarity between “Slumdog” and Boyle's current offering, “127 Hours," who wouldn’t want to see the movie that had Telluride’s emergency services scrambling not once, but twice, as sensitive audience members fainted left, right and center?
This film – as you have probably already heard – is the true life tale of climber Aron Ralston, who sawed off his own arm with a multi-tool after a freak run-in with a boulder. The Toronto press was out in full force for this one.
Which made it all the more frustrating when the 2:45 screening was delayed by an hour-and-a-half, after one disaster after another befell a festival that usually runs like clockwork. In Toronto, it seemed like the audience might be fainting before they even had a chance to see the picture.
Luckily Danny Boyle himself was on hand to smooth the waters, crack a few jokes and warm up 300 disgruntled hacks. A ninety-minute delay is what passes for a crisis round these parts – though Ralston’s experiences soon put that in perspective for us.
Kicking off with a exhilarating split-screen montage scored to a frantic electro beat by Bollywood superstar AR Rahman, “127 Hours” proves that the “Trainspotting” director is a pure sensationalist. In his own way, he’s just as much a thrill-junkie as Aron.
We’ll review the film in full when it is released November 5, but what we can say right now is that "127 Hours" is a real adrenaline rush, deliriously inventive, harrowing, intense and utterly compelling.
It’s another triumph for Boyle and it puts James Franco on a whole new level – he’s really under the microscope here, hardly ever off-screen, and he takes us right through the emotional wringer with Aron. Oscar notices are duly served.
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