By: Oberst Von Berauscht (A Toast) –
Robert Redford: “Hmm, well it seems like a good day to go sailing. But to be safe, I’ll make sure to bring my satellite phone, my two-way radio, and my GPS. Wouldn’t want to get lost…”
Shipping Container: ***Clunk***
Robert Redford: “Hey now, why is there a hole in my boat?”
Shipping Container: “……….”
Robert Redford: “And of course, the hole happens to be right where I left all my electronics… damn it!”
Shipping Container: “………”
Robert Redford: “I mean… it seems like some kind of act of God or something…”
God: “Hey now… I don’t come down to the place you work and slap the dick out of your mouth”
Robert Redford: “and now there’s a storm heading this way… Jesus”
God: “Oh, no he didn’t”
Robert Redford: “And my boat is flipping the hell over, goddamn it!”
God: “I must break you…”
As Oscar season commences, and the buzz begins to build, Robert Redford returns to the big screen with All is Lost, a harrowing tale of survival and determination in the face of bleak odds. In the film Redford plays an unnamed man sailing the Indian ocean, before he encounters the no-win scenario to end all no-win scenarios (described above). There is almost no dialogue in All is Lost, with Redford on his own, he has little or no reason to talk. Having to carry the film emotionally without the luxury of words to guide his way, Redford proves once again that he is adept at delivering a realistic performance. Over time, the elements and stress wears on him, taking a toll on his psyche. This may be his most grizzled performance, which says a lot, since Redford loves getting grizzled…
“Yes sir, I skin Grizz…”
All is Lost is the Sophomore effort of Director J.C. Chandor, but the heavy themes being explored are as mature as its lead character. Chandor is endeavoring to use a survival scenario as a metaphor for the everyday struggle of life. Over the course of the film, Redford goes through stages which resemble birth, growth, adolescence, adulthood, and eventually middle age and beyond. The film has a bleak mood which pervades every inch of the screen. This isn’t to call the movie depressing, but rather it is a glimpse into reality so rarely seen in survival stories.
The special effects are worth mentioning, including a sailboat set which is able to revolve 360 degrees (to simulate overturning). Everything feels so seamless and realistic that it may be easy to forget about the efforts taking place. In fact; that is the greatest compliment one can give a special effects crew.
A deceptively simple premise is handled with masterful precision and boasts one of Robert Redford’s career-best performances.
Take a Drink: for every shot of fish
Take a Drink: each time things go from bad to worse
Do a Shot: when Robert Redford’s situation gets so fucked, you can’t help but laugh at the wrath of God.