Film Review: ALL IS LOST

Writer-Director: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Robert Redford

I have always imagined myself a word person and yet two movies (GRAVITY, the other) lately have stood that idea on its ear a bit. There are perhaps a few dozen words in ALL IS LOST and none of them have the impact of anyone of the hundreds of thrilling camera shots. If ever a story has been told by a camera or an eye, this is it.

Our nameless hero (and I didn’t think about that fact until now) is on a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean when his yacht is gutted by a loose shipping container. The boat is filling up with water by the time Redford awakes. All of the systems he might use to get help or to rescue himself are destroyed so he is on his own with the sort of information men in another century used to sail: maps, books, stars, pencils, ropes, and most of all their knowledge of the sea and survival. This is enough to keep him afloat for a few days.

Of course, nature deals him another blow and the fight, always a physical one, gets even more physical, tense, dire.

Redford does a great job of convincing you he has what it takes to survive such a thing. His intelligence shines through his eyes, his body seems amazingly strong and wiry for his age. I found watching him problem-solve for almost two hours fascinating. Seeing someone struggle with impending death resourcefully and believably worked for me.

Four of us saw this and I saw the last scene differently from my mates. The director apparently tried for this ambiguity. Let me know what you thought. Highly recommended.

Patti Abbott