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 mariner's 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. Written by
The Chinese characters shown on the container (which is supposed to be the name of the shipping company) in the beginning actually mean "good fortune". See more »
When then man puts on his storm suit and goes out to raise the storm jib he is tossed off deck and dragged underwater. He climbs back on board and returns to the cabin. When he removes the top of the storm suit his shirt is completely dry. See more »
1700 nautical miles from the Sumatra Straits.
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According to the credits "All is Lost was shot on three 1978 Cal 39 sailboats purchased from their owners in Southern California. These three boats generously gave themselves up for art: Tahoe, Tenacious, and Orion. They took their final sails in the Pacific Ocean and performed beautifully in the film as Our Mans's boat, the Virginia Jean. Rest in peace." See more »
One man in a boat - no back story, no people, (virtually) no dialogue and no unnecessary exposition - just one man against the elements and what a gripping story it is. Robert Redford plays an unnamed yachtsman deep in a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean when he is hit by catastrophe. Why he is there is not explained but that is not important. What follows is an epic struggle for survival between man and the elements. Fans of Robert Redford will be shocked by his aging good looks and this is accentuated by the sheer physicality of the role, which makes you wonder whether he is too old for the part, but Redford carries it off with aplomb. You'll be blowing hard with him as he lifts, climbs, carries, pushes and pulls his way around the boat. For a man three years shy of his 80th birthday, Redford shows that he is still supremely fit.
The director, J.C. Chandor, is fast developing a reputation for lean, mean electrifying storytelling and like his first film, 'Margin Call', another fat free but thrilling examination of the demise of Wall St, 'All is Lost' wastes no time in telling a simple story with skill, verve and edge-of-your-seat tension. What 'Jaws' did for sharks this film will do for yachts. The underwater shots reminds you of the best cinematography of the BBC's finest wildlife documentaries such as 'The Blue Planet' and the camera work of the boat beset by storms are nothing short of miraculous and astonishingly, seemingly free from CGI effects.
The fact that Redford does not talk (with one exception which will have you empathising hugely with the character 'when it rains, it pours') turns the film into an intense character study and makes his plight even more compelling as you start to care deeply about his fate, so much so that by the end of the film, you are desperately hoping for a contrived ending. Does Redford's character survive? You will have to see the film to find out but what I can tell you is that tears will be rolling down your cheek at the closing credits but why......in sorrow or in relief?
With 'Gravity', another man versus the elements (albeit space) film, out in a few weeks time and gaining massive Oscar buzz as one of the best films of the year, 'All is Lost' can also be considered in the same breath as its more illustrious forebear and together with the imminent release of 'Captain Phillips', hearkens back to a time in the 70s when disaster films were all the rage with the triumvirate of 'The Towering Inferno', 'Airport 75' and 'Raid on Entebbe'.
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