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Review of "ALL IS LOST"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014. Written 26th February 2014. First published 30th March 2014. Revised 1st April 2014.
REVIEW: "ALL IS LOST" by Jayne Waterford

J.C. Chandor's "ALL IS LOST" (2013) is difficult drama about difficulty. It stars Our Man (the tousselled and salty Robert Redford) and apart from a hand modelling credit and four appearances of a stunt man, "ALL IS LOST" only stars Robert Redford, including the breathing.

He's not a happy dude and he is not a master yachtman. Our Man sets sail in the Indian Ocean in a boat that is not only not made of teak but is squeaky and leaks. It's fried, ply hull must be wearing a sign that says, "Put a hole in me," and Our Man himself reacts to emergencies as if he has not foreseen them. Indeed, in Captain Aubrey (Russel Crowe)'s term, Our Man would be down right, "lubberly." [Peter Weir's "MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD" (2003)] So much so that it led me to wonder how he got there?

Redford's performance of Our Man was reminiscent of Tom Hank's title-role portrayal in Paul Greengrass' "CAPTAIN PHILLIPS" (2013) who plays an everyman in an extraordinary situation. He shakes in his circumstances and most lubberly-like, he confronts every article on his unseaworthy vessel as if he has never seen it before, like he'd really never seen it

before. My yachty acquaintances are so prepared for any eventuality at sea they would writhe with discomfort at Our Man's story.

We are allowed one moment of beauty. The view of the bottom of his life-raft from the point of view of the ocean beneath the fish. His ocean on the other hand is never a place of beauty. And how do we know? We've seen Ang Lee's "LIFE OF PI" (2012). There is no Richard Parker chasing Our Man out from under the shade and yet this silly goose gets extremely sun burnt.

Our film opens in a bathtub with water against a wall painted like a sunset, after the syle of Peter Weir's "THE TRUMAN SHOW" (1998) and how do we know? We've seen "LIFE OF PI". But having said that Robert Redford is resilient in the role of failed stock market exec. come boat owner/resident (just guessing). It's a hefty comment on the plight of America, at sea in the ocean of India. For all his patina, dinosaur arms and his still being alive he really is shaken when he sees there are only two sachet's of food left and he sinks into the abyss at the zenith of his despair with conviction accept he's holding his breath as if awaiting a magical solution.

It wasn't saved by any fabulous camera work. The

storms were so close and unclear they gave the impression of moisture in the lens. In truth I would say the filmmakers neglected to explore their material. On the other hand, they did build urgency out of nothing when Our Man went back to the boat to get provisions before she...

There are nice sequences. His preparation for meeting the storm included shaving and as he takes the helm he looks good. But the idea he is generally unaware of weather, a yachtman's obsession, only seeing a storm when it's five minutes away or only from the top of his fragile, 10 foot mast is tenuous if not lubberly story telling.

Themes include: being upside down and the useless propensity of aluminium to bend.

My audience were very vocal at the end of the film. I know the ones who didn't walk out were thoroughly engaged. But it was pretty bloody annoying. One was left with the spector of a man dumbed-down to some awful, normal level of stupid, like Ron Howard's non-historical, verbal conflict on the "APOLLO 13" (1995), something Chandor will have to argue for forever poor bugger. 6/10 (His supporting cast was better than Hank's.)

J.C. Chandor's
"ALL IS LOST" (2013)
Writer/Director J.C. Chandor
Producers Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb, Justin Nappi and Teddy Schwarzman
Stars Robert Redford
Release Date 20th February 2014
Category Thriller
Running Time 106 minutes (1 hour, 46 minutes)
Rating M
Origin Indian Ocean, USA
Coda No. I checked.
Distributor Universal Pictures International Australasia
Official Blurb "Academy Award® winner Robert Redford stars in "ALL IS LOST", an open-water thriller about one manís battle for survival against the elements after his sailboat is destroyed at sea. Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee J.C. Chandor ("MARGIN CALL" (2011)) with a musical score by Alex
Ebert (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros), the film is a gripping,visceral and powerfully moving tribute to ingenuity and resilience.

Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man (Redford) wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his marinerís intuition and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest.

Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.

FilmNation Entertainment, Black Bear Pictures, and Treehouse Pictures Present a Before The Door / Washington Square Films Production. Robert Redford in "ALL IS LOST". The director of photography is Frank G. DeMarco and the underwater director of photography

is Peter Zuccarini. Production designer is John P. Goldsmith. Editor is Pete Beaudreau. The music is composed by Alex Ebert. Visual effects supervisor is Robert Munroe. Executive producers are Cassian Elwes, Laura Rister, Glen Basner, Joshua Blum, Howard Cohen, Eric DíArbeloff, Rob Barnum, Kevin Turen, Corey Moosa and Zachary Quinto. The producers are Justin Nappi and Teddy Schwarzman. Produced by Neal Dodson p.g.a. and Anna Gerb p.g.a. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor." - Universal Pictures International Australasia PR
First Look:
Production still: by Richard Foreman, courtesy of All Is Lost Productions, LLC
Photo Credit: Daniel D
Guys at work. Director J.C. Chandor and Robert Redford discuss a shot.
Credit: Andrew Illson