All Is Lost—Directed and written by J.C. Chandor/solo performance Robert Redford/105 mins/PG-13
Bifocal Reviews by Ageless1der, Barbara Rich & The Other Guy
(BR) I have to admit, I was not anxious to see this movie. I considered, one actor, practically no dialogue and a boat on the sea. Well, I went on an exciting adventure with
Robert Redford (not the kind most women dream of). Every challenge, every mishap on this spectacular journey of survival was edge of your seat drama. Just when you thought, “Whew! He made it,” Murphy’s Law prevailed. Kudos to director, J.C. Chandor who managed to spare the viewers endless time just gazing at the ocean. It was power packed with suspense. Redford, a robust seventy-seven year old man was remarkable with his amazing physical strength and his acting performance, relying solely on his body language and facial expressions. All is Lost, for me was Nothing Lost. Everything worked together for a great adventure film. I am happy to give All is Lost four huge binoculars!
(OG) Although there are some great stories where someone spends a lot of time alone in a boat (Life of Pi and Old Man and the Sea to name two), this is only story in my memory where the entire story takes place at sea. Robert Redford doesn’t have any tigers to talk to, and there is no set-up or rescue sub-plot to catch the viewer’s interest. He only speaks four lines of dialogue—though to be totally honest, he does repeat one of the lines several times. All Is Lost owes its strength to the savvy acting chops of Robert Redford some great direction, and even more brilliant editing. The story is all about one man, in a sinking sailboat, then a life raft. That’s it. The suspense, if you will, turns away from, “When will he be saved and how?” to “What new calamity will befall him next and how will he overcome it?” What are his best weapons in his struggle to survive? Knowledge and a strong will to live. This is one of those stories that could answer the age old question, “What do you need when you are in the wrong place at the wrong time?” Robert Redford brings to life J.C. Candor’s engaging tale with the answer, “You have to know what to do, when you get there.” I know this is getting monotonous, but this movie is top-notch and it deserves four binoculars and at least one monocle.
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