Film Review – ALL IS LOST (2013)

ALL IS LOST (2013, USA) ****
Action, Adventure, Drama
dist. Lionsgate (USA), Universal Pictures International (UPI) (UK); pr co. Lionsgate Films / Roadshow Attractions / Before the Door Pictures / Washington Square Films / Black Bear Pictures; d. J.C. Chandor; w. J.C. Chandor; pr. Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb, Justin Nappi, Teddy Schwarzman; ph. Frank G. DeMarco (DeLuxe. 35mm (anamorphic) (Kodak Vision 2383), D-Cinema. ARRIRAW (2.8K) (source format), Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format). 2.35:1); m. Alex Ebert; ed. Pete Beaudreau; pd. John P. Goldsmith; ad. Marco Niro; rel. 22 May 2013 (France), 29 August 2013 (USA), 12 October 2013 (UK); BBFC cert: 12; r/t. 106m.
cast: Robert Redford (Our Man).
Redford delivers a performance built on endurance in this absorbing drama of a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean. Veteran sailor (Redford) awakens to find his vessel taking on water after a collision with a stray shipping container. With his radio and navigation equipment disabled, he sails unknowingly into a violent storm and barely escapes with his life. With any luck, the ocean currents may carry him into a shipping lane — but, with supplies dwindling and the sharks circling, the sailor is forced to face his own mortality. The story sticks to the nuts and bolts of Redford’s struggle for survival against the odds and the natural elements of the open sea. There is no attempt to fill in the blanks of his character’s back story or the reason why he is sailing alone in the middle of the Indian ocean, but that would likely have distracted from the key theme of the thin line between life and death when we live at the edge. Redford carries the movie with a minimum of dialogue and a maximum of physical performance. The honesty of the star’s performance and Chandor’s authentic shooting of the minimalist script keep the viewer hooked until its admittedly overly stylised finale.