Title – All is Lost (2013)
Director – J.C Chandor (Margin Call)
Cast – Robert Redford
Plot – When a shipping container breaches the hull of a yachtsman boat (Redford) it sets about a series of events that will test the body, the mind and the spirit within that holds the will to live.
“All is lost here… except for soul and body”
Review by Eddie on 9/03/2014
It takes a brave director and a brave actor to set forth on a journey where the film they are making is a near silent 100 minute plus feature that has a single actor command the screen from films opening until films close – All is Lost’s brave men are second time director JC Chandor (whose first film Margin Call is well worth seeking out) and seasoned Hollywood legend Robert Redford who inhabits his meatiest film role in decades and reminds us why at one stage he was Hollywood’s go to leading man.
Despite barely uttering a word Robert Redford is a commanding presence in this tale of survival, saying much with a mere facial expression or with a look of his eyes it’s fair to say that only an actor of his experience and expertise could of pulled of such a feat and it’s a great moment for him in the twilight of his career to again show us the viewers just why he is a legend of the industry. Redford’s commitment to the nameless role must have been a joy for director Chandor who is quickly establishing himself as a talent to watch. Margin Call was a film made around it’s cracking script and banter between actors and All is Lost is just about as far from that as possible. For only his second feature length film it’s a mighty feat by Chandor to control the film the way in which he does, whether or not on a calm sea or a raging storm the film never feels like it is slipping from Chandor’s grip despite the film having major limitations in it’s narrative scope.
For what it is All is Lost is virtually a faultless film but a movie in which we are asked to sit and partake in 100 minutes of a man on the sea it can only go so far. Moments of great emotion or potential to expand on who we are witnessing surviving are lost like our protagonist and it deters audience investment. Other elements of the film such as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s front man Alex Ebert’s Golden Globe winning score and the cinematography by Frank DeMarco and Peter Zuccarini feel as though they could have been expanded upon more also giving the film more scope and emotional feeling.
All is Lost may not be an easy film to enjoy, or even sit through thanks to it’s subject and plotting, but it’s a film that cannot be ignored thanks to a Redford showpiece and another fine step by Chandor in what is shaping to be an exciting career behind the camera. As a film about the will to survive and the strength of the human spirit, it’s one of the better examples of recent years.
3 and a half rouge shipping containers out of 5