James Franco and Danny Boyle's '127 Hours' gets gasps and a standing ovation in Toronto

james-francoImage Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesLast night, at the first public screening since its world premiere at Telluride last week, Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours had an audience of eager Toronto Film Festival-goers squirming in their seats — and then jumping t0 their feet for a standing ovation. Based on the true story of outdoorsman Aron Ralston (played by James Franco), who was forced to amputate part of his own arm after it got stuck under a boulder, the film (out Nov. 5) is an intense, graphic, and (at around 90 minutes) compact experience that had plenty of viewers peeking at the screen through parted fingers. The climactic amputation scene in particular drew a a few muffled yelps from moviegoers who broke out in applause when the limb was finally severed.

Following a lengthy standing ovation, filmmaker Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) took the stage, accompanied by star James Franco (Eat Pray Love) and the real Aron Ralston himself, who fought back tears while describing the experience of watching the movie with an audience that included his wife and sister. “I have to say thank you to everyone who’s standing next to me on the stage,” said Ralston, who revealed that he had originally wanted the filmmakers to create a documentary  — and not a feature film — about the events that inspired his 2004 memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place. “As a documentary it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as powerful as what that was. Thank you for convincing me otherwise.”

Franco, whose performance is already earning Oscar buzz, paid back the compliment, giving thanks to Ralston for sharing not only his recollections of the incident, but also the actual video tapes he shot while stuck in the canyon seven years ago. “I’ve really never seen anything like that,” said the actor. “It guided me through the performance.”

More about 127 Hours on EW.com:
‘127 Hours’ trailer: A Danny Boyle Joint

EW Fall Movie Preview: ‘127 Hours

Danny Boyle & Darren Aronofsky: Toronto Déjà Vu

Comments (19 total) Add your comment
  • B-

    Boyle and Aronofsky will both dwarf any Oscar buzz for the OVERRATED “Inception” and Nolan.

    • goose

      oh calm down you nerd

      • Peterbilt


    • Dave

      We’re not talking about Inception or Christopher Nolan. What was the point of your comment right now? To prove how you’re cool because you didn’t like Inception and didn’t jump on the bandwagon for it? Good for you. You’re a bigger loser than the crazed fanboys.

  • jango

    Why put (Eat Pray Love) after James Franco’s name? Don’t the vast majority of EW readers know who he is already? I would hope so.

    • TQB

      Seriously. I think he’d prefer EW to note his General Hospital appearances as opposed to Eat Pray Paycheck.

  • Mr. Holloway

    LOVED the trailer to “127 Hours”, and it’s encouraging to see it getting good notices.

    Looking forward to checking this one out!

  • Elizabeth

    Best of luck to everyone involved with this project but I just don’t have it in me to watch. God bless Aron for surviving.

  • jenny

    I don’t think i can bring myself to watch this — it seems like an Oscar bait — SAW.

    • miameows

      Read Aron’s book – definitely not “oscar bait”. It’s pretty incredible, not well written or anything, just very raw since he wrote it so soon after the accident. Worth it!

  • Jen

    I remember seeing the story on 60 minutes or something like that. They showed some of Aron’s actual video. It’s an incredible story and it should be interesting to see it.

  • T.O. girl

    Word in Toronto is that at least one person (maybe more?) actually passed out and had to be removed from the theatre while watching the amputation scene. No, I am not kidding.

    • Laura

      This is exactly why I can’t bring myself to watch this film. I really, really don’t have the stomach for that kind of thing.

  • RLS

    I was there last night for the screening. First off – it’s a fantastic film and James Franco is phenomenal in it. Truly. The Q&A after with cast and Aron Ralston was very moving. About the rumours that someone passed out and had to be removed during the amputation scene – I do think that happened. There was definitely some commotion a few rows behind me and somebody left or was removed from the theatre. Anyway – this film is a must-see.

  • tracy bluth

    I really want to see this. Looks like it’s going to be between Aronofsky, Boyle, and Nolan (like it should’ve been two years ago…yeah, I’m still mad about The Dark Knight and The Wrestler’s snubs).

  • James in Toronto

    It’s an incredible story about an incredibly foolish man. This guy told know one where he was climbing, and brought no emergency beacon. There isn’t a climber in the world who considers this guy a hero. Seeing him glorified makes me feel ill.

  • Julie

    It is an incredible story. Aron definately knew he was wrong in not telling anyone where he was going. He knows that better than anyone. Thank God his mother had the skills to do her own detective work to try to locate him! I can’t wait to see this film. Boyle did a great job in recreating the events. The one thing that was left out of the film was all the praying Aron did. Too bad, but in the name of the big screen, they do what they need to do!

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  • Farid

    Would be interested to know how Boyle feels his reoiiglus background informs his themes: 127 Hours was about isolation and family, Slumdog was about poverty and hope, and it seems Trance will be about materialism all of which are themes central to Christianity. Thanks and good luck!

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