Standing ovation for Boyle's film
Danny Boyle's survival tale 127 Hours earned a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The movie - starring James Franco in the real-life story of a wilderness adventurer trapped by a fallen boulder - marked Boyle's return to the festival, where his Slumdog Millionaire won the audience award as favourite film two years ago on its way to box office success and Oscar glory.
The director thanked the audience for the lift the festival gave Slumdog and said he and his crew scrambled to make the deadline for a return trip to Toronto with 127 Hours, which finished shooting just last May. "A lot of people went nuts to get it here," he said.
127 Hours sees Franco play Aron Ralston, a climber trapped in a Utah canyon after his arm was pinned under a boulder in 2003. On the fifth day of his ordeal, Ralston hacked off his arm to free himself.
Ralston attended the premiere with his wife and sister and joined Boyle, Franco and co-stars Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara and Clemence Poesy to answer audience questions after the screening.
The film was based on Ralston's best-selling book, Between A Rock And A Hard Place. When he first met with Boyle about a film version, Ralston said he preferred telling the story as a documentary, but he thanked the filmmaker for convincing him that a dramatic adaptation would serve the story better.
"As a documentary, it would not have been anywhere near as powerful as that was," said Ralston, who choked back tears after the screening.