All Is Lost

(USA, 2013, 105 mins, DCP)
CAST Robert Redford
EXEC PRODS Cassian Elwes, Laura Rister, Glen Basner, Joshua Blum, Howard Cohen, Eric D’Arbeloff, Rob Barnum, Kevin Turen, Corey Moosa, Zachary Quinto
PRODS Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb, Justin Nappi, Teddy Schwartzman
SCR J.C. Chandor
CAM Frank G. DeMarco, Peter Zuccarini
ED Pete Beaudreau
PROD DES John P. Goldsmith
MUS Alex Ebert
PROD CO Before the Door Pictures / Washington Square Films


All Is Lost, J.C. Chandor’s follow-up to Margin Call… might have been the most surprising film in the entire [Cannes’] lineup. The film stars an aging Robert Redford, his damaged boat, the wayward shipping container that does the damage, and the Indian Ocean. Apart from an outstretched hand and a few figures in the extreme distance, Redford is the only human being on screen. He speaks about 300 words in the entire film, most of them in an off-screen reading of what is meant to be his unnamed character’s final letter to his loved ones…

All Is Lost is an unexpected and fairly riveting entry in the small but proud collection of Robinson Crusoe–based cinematic fictions, from Roy Ward Baker’s Inferno to Buñuel’s adaptation of Defoe’s novel to Ichikawa’s Alone Across the Pacific to My Side of the Mountain… In Chandor’s narrative, Redford’s character has every modern technological tool at his disposal, each one successively waterlogged, short-circuited, battered, broken, or drowned until all that’s left is man and ocean. The film would not have worked without an actor capable of generating an entire biography through his reactions, his gestures, his small temperamental asides to himself, his relation to the world. Redford’s Our Man (so says the IMDb listing) is wistfully but resolutely alone, initially bemused by his predicament, unnerved only at the most dramatic intervals, yet intensely focused and absorbed in his tasks from beginning to end…—Kent Jones, Film Comment

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