The movie 127 Hours is already on the list of one of the “5 buzz-worthy films from the Toronto Film Festival.”  The movie has also received early talk of multiple Oscar nominations.

Update:  127 Hours received 6 Oscar nominations including Best Picture & Best Actor.  Unfortunately, the movie didn’t win any awards.  The 127 Hours Movie DVD & Blu-ray are now available for purchase as of March 1, 2011.

And no wonder; the acting of James Franco and direction of Danny Boyle are both excellent. But what impresses me most is the gorgeous, sun-drenched, red rock canyon country of Utah. The Utah scenery is stunningly beautiful. 127 hours did an amazing job showing Southern Utah’s beauty, majesty and remoteness.

Check out the 127 Hours movie trailer to get a feel for how well the Southern Utah landscape was captured:

The movie is a true story about Aron Ralston, the young man who cut off his own arm after being pinned by a boulder against the wall of deserted Southern Utah Blue John Canyon in 2003. Ralston wrote a book about his life altering experience.  The movie, based on the book, is exceptionally well done. In fact, the arm amputation scene may be even a bit too realistic (people fainted at the premier!).  Outside of the 3 gory minutes, the movie is actually uplifting.

The movie is more than just spiritually uplifting … it’s also lifting people’s interest in Utah tourism.

There’s no question the movie will bring more visitors to Utah as soon as this spring. In fact, some people even think 127 hours will help Southern Utah tourism just as much as the Winter Olympics helped Northern Utah.

Utah Office of Tourism Managing Director Leigh Von der Esch is using the 127 Hours movie story to promote tourism to the state. “There is no bigger billboard than the movie,” she recently said in a Fox interview. “127 Hours showcases the best outdoor recreation in the world.”

Aron Ralston’s unfortunate hiking trip was in Canyonlands National Park in the Robber’s Roost area in Blue John Canyon.  Canyonlands is located in south-eastern Utah near the city of Moab. As you saw in the movie, Canyonlands has a colorful redish landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River and the Green River.

If you’re planning a 127 Hours inspired trip to Southern Utah, here’s our suggestion:

  • Fly into Las Vegas, Nevada.  Play a bit in your casino of choice before hitting I-15 North.
  • Drive the 100 miles to St. George, Utah’s largest southern city.
  • Stay the night with us – the best place to stay in our beautiful Las Palmas condos.
  • Visit Snow Canyon Park, golf at one of St. George’s well known courses, and/or spend some time soaking up the sun at our pools.
  • Drive 40 miles from St. George to Zion National Park and spend a day there
  • Take Scenic Highway 12 as part of your commute from Zion to Moab, Utah to visit Canyonlands National Park