'127 Hours': Is fainting a compliment?

127-HoursImage Credit: Chuck ZlotnickI knew I’d never be a doctor because of TLC. Back when the name still stood for “The Learning Channel” — because you would learn things other than “little people are just like us” or “how many babies can fit in one uterus” — the cable network would air what seemed like hours of surgery footage. Open heart, liposuction, colonoscopy: My continued reaction of blearggghh! helped narrow the list of possible career paths. While that may no longer be the case for TLC, there’s a new round of squeamishness-testing, courtesy of the upcoming film 127 Hours. Directed by Danny Boyle and starring James Franco, it tells the story of Aron Ralston, the mountain climber and outdoorsman who, in 2003, was forced to amputate his right arm after spending five days with it trapped by a boulder.

While the film doesn’t even come out until Nov. 5, the centerpiece scene of self-surgery has already left a few early audiences feeling a little light-headed. News of people fainting at a special Pixar-hosted screening join reports of paramedics being called to the Toronto Film Festival premiere. Ralston, who’s seen the film six times at this point, confirmed to EW that he himself was at more than one screening at which audience members fainted. (For more from Ralston and Franco on 127 Hours and its side effects, see next week’s issue of EW.)

Having seen 127 Hours, I can tell you that the scene is indeed intense, but I definitely wouldn’t call it gratuitous. Most of the reactions that haven’t been syncopal, including mine, have been positive. In a way, though, maybe the faintings can be considered a positive reaction. Movies like Saw, Hostel, and Saw XLII are definitely worse in the gore department, so it’s not just purely a reaction to blood. In my eyes, Boyle and Franco do such a great job of keeping your attention rapt on one character and making you empathize so fully with him that once they get down to the nitty-gritty, you start suffering from a condition I’ll call “Franco limb syndrome.” Even at my screening, while there was no fainting that I saw, there was plenty of moaning and unconscious arm-grabbing. Hey, what better compliment than proof that they’ve made you literally feel for a character?

What do you think, PopWatchers? Are any of you squeamish enough to let this prevent you from seeing the movie? Should they sell smelling salts along with the popcorn at the concession stand once it hits theaters?

Read more:
’127 Hours’ trailer: A Danny Boyle joint
James Franco and Danny Boyle’s ’127 Hours’ gets gasps and standing ovation in Toronto
‘127 Hours’ new trailer: Gravity sets in

Comments (15 total) Add your comment
  • Jeff

    “Should they sell smelling salts along with the popcorn at the concession stand once it hits theaters?”

    I will be seeing this movie, but I definitely won’t be eating any popcorn!

    • David Larry

      Yeah Jeff, you have no marbles.

  • Laura

    Yeah, put me down as one who is too squeamish about that kind of thing to be able to watch this movie in a theater. I can’t watch horror movies for the same reason. I will, however, watch this movie on DVD so that I can fast-forward through that part.

  • Bride of Chucky

    @Jeff-I don’t think I would be in the mood for popcorn either.

    Maybe it is more squirm inducing because auidences know it’s a true story and Saw and Hostel are not

  • Troy

    I watched the trailer for this movie a while back.. And I am sorry, but Danny Boyle has yet to impress me with his filmography.. 28 days later, transporting and slumdog millionaire? bollocks!

    • Jobless

      lol wut?

    • Rich

      lol, those were three amazing films.

  • JamesFrancoNews on Twitter

    Add Telluride and Mill Valley Film Festival to the list of fainting episode locations….we can’t say for sure, but shouldn’t the filmmakers consider this the ultimate compliment (capturing reality and creating characters you care about being two of the main objectives of most films?). Join the dialogue: http://www.Twitter.com/JamesFrancoNews (official)

  • aj

    My 16 year old brother lost his entire rigt arm last year in a car accident. Reading about this movie and the new Spiderman makes me feel sad. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just weird.

  • jasmine

    i’m so excited for this movie! i remember hearing about the story back in 2003 and it always interested me. but i guarantee i will get squeamish. on youtube there is a video from tlc of aron talking in detail about the amputation. i held on to my hand and felt really grossed out and that was just hearing about it… CANT WAIT TO ACTUALLY SEE IT:)

  • Carrie

    I can watch horror movies all day long with no reaction but i get horribly squeamish when i watch real life surgery or anything like this. Even though i know it’s fake the thought that someone really did this is too much for me.

  • Liposuctionweightloss.com

    looking forward to watching this when it comes out in november

  • Pictures of the hottest jailbaits and youngest teens on the world wide web.

    I have been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this site. Reading this information So i’m satisfied to show that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I so much indubitably will make sure to do not overlook this site and give it a glance on a relentless basis.

  • air climber|pena al quran|happy call

    Undeniably believe that that you stated. Your favourite justification seemed to be on the web the easiest thing to take into account of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed at the same time as other people consider issues that they just don’t recognize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the whole thing without having side-effects , other folks could take a signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

  • happy call jumbo

    certainly like your web-site but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the truth on the other hand I will surely come back again.

Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP