I recently wrote a post critical of the image of father's in 2010 films, claiming that generally the presentation of father's is limited, functionally not present, or very negative.
I realized that there was a unique father presentation in the film 127 Hours, that while minimal in screen time is hugely significant in the storyline.
In the film James Franco portrays the real life story of Aron Ralston, a young fearless outdoorsman who finds himself trapped and all alone in a Utah canyon.
In Ralston's own book describing the incident, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, he explains a transition in which he goes from being willing to die having carved his epitaph into a wall and recording his last will and testimony to suddenly having a new surge to live at any cost.
His desire to live came from a vision/hallucination of a young boy which he interpreted to be his son.
Where Ralston had come to peace with his own life, the vision of becoming a father not only gave him hope, but also gave him motivation to do the unthinkable, a graphic self-amputation of his arm in order to free himself.
In the film 127 Hours, Danny Boyle does not exclude this from his story, and artful finds a way to tell this part of a story with a couch in the canyon where people sit and we see Ralston's visions.
As the film ends, we see the present day Ralston on this couch with his wife Jessica and son Leo...the son who Ralston claims was the boy he saw in the canyon who inspired him to save himself for the sake of fatherhood. And perhaps to me, this is the most interesting and meaningful image of father experience presented in the films of 2010.
(Image via dailymail.co.uk article, A film you'd cut your arm off to see... climber Aron Ralston reveals never-before-seen pictures of his 127 Hours ordeal)