All is Lost

November 6, 2013 No Comments

_DSC0736-MAll is Lost.

J.C. Chandor’s silently riveting film about a man (Robert Redford) battling the unyielding forces of nature aboard a sailing yacht following a mishap lives up to its title.

Redford is the only character in the film.  There is no backstory.   There are no flashbacks to connect us to his past.  He does not chat to himself to provide us with verbal moorings.  There are no musical cues to guide our emotional journey.  There is the sound of the sea and the creak of  the vessel. There is “Our Man” struggling to stay alive in the middle of the Indian Ocean for eight days.

The film will remind many of the recent sci-fi ‘Gravity” where Sandra Bullock struggles to survive in space following a mishap.   There is no comedic relief in “All is Lost” and George Clooney certainly does not appear to inspire and save the day.

The largest “gimmick” probably occurs at the end of the film and filmgoers will leave the theater debating the end.  Is this a tricky way to spare the audience a completely hopeless conclusion? (I will avoid ‘spilling” the ending as best that I can).  Is this genius?  Is this an honest reflection of the uncertainty that surrounds death?  You will have to decide.

Robert Redford is an iconic figure and at age 77 commands an imposing presence, even on a sinking ship.  Certainly Oscar-worthy (and no doubt a consideration with a record for minimalist dialogue).

There is some uber metaphor (the sea has certainly been done and redone), but the theme remains true to its message (which is, of course, provided to us in a bottle).

This is a Must See Movie

Jolyn Wagner

Must See Movie of the Week

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