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
Robert Redford was very frustrated that the studio did not promote the film for awards, both for J.C. Chandor in writing and directing and himself for acting (a feeling echoed by numerous film critics who liked the film and were surprised it was given a small release with little publicity) and has cited this experience as a reason he has moved towards taking fewer acting jobs and preparing strongly for retirement from acting altogether. See more »
Our Man raises himself up the mast to reconnect a PL-259 RF connector to a small antenna. On his descent, the camera looks down. in some shots the deck is in full sun with the shadow of the mast cast on the deck. In others, there are no shadows. 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 »
NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: Talk about making a huge leap forward in your filmmaking abilities; J.C. Chandor can rest easy knowing he demonstrated the directorial style of a pro in his survival film "All is Lost" starring Robert Redford. Debuting today at the New York Film Festival, you can tell that many critics were simply captivated by what they were witnessing on-screen. An almost 40-page script and a team of amazing technical magicians encapsulate the awe and wonder of the upcoming Lionsgate feature.
The synopsis is pretty straight forward; a man is out in sea when finds himself fighting mother nature and his own psyche to survive out in the Indian Ocean.
Writer and director J.C. Chandor assembles a man without revealing any back story that the audience can latch onto. We spend a lot of time with "Our Man" - as he's named by end credits. It's a brilliant constructed character study focusing on human behavior. There have been plenty of survival films to screen this year showing the different perspectives that human beings take when faced with their own extinction. "Captain Phillips" has Tom Hanks react when another soul threatens that life while Sandra Bullock relies on her own instinct and brains in "Gravity." Redford envelops the body of a man who is surrounded by his own thoughts. Alone in the ocean, he utilizes tools provided by his boat as well as life experience. There are no asides or soliloquies for the audience to in tune themselves with the narrative. We rely on our senses. Chandor has an admirable aesthetic for telling his stories. Unafraid to get up close and personal with our main character and to observe the angles from the boat, air, and sea, I was mesmerized nearly the entire time.
Robert Redford has never exerted this amount of skill in his acting career. At 77-years-old, Redford taps into the epitome of the human spirit with no words to assist him. With only nearly ten lines of words spoken, 90% of that in our opening shot of a shipping container with no Redford present, he relies on his own mannerisms and dexterity to bridge us comfortably and confidently into our tale. It's his best performance in the last 25 years.
Frank G. DeMarco and Peter Zuccarini, dual cinematographers, gather gorgeous imagery especially those captured from beneath the ocean's surface. In our violent moments when nature shows her true aggression, the two find the pleasant bearings of Redford's dread.
As it would be expected in a film with no dialogue, the sound design becomes the forefront and star. Rain and ocean rush across the screen and speakers to place us right in the moment. A fierce intensity boils to the brim when the sound really takes off.
The film tends to be bloated a bit. At 106 minutes, a cut down to perhaps 90 might have tightened up some of the scenes and give a more clear and fluid cinematic experience. Trust that when the movie does take off, the Visual Effects team needs to be commended. It's not as simple as sitting in a life raft and watching the rain fall; in many ways, "All is Lost" acts as an independent action thriller with a strong narrative device, something we don't see too often. The music of Alex Ebert certainly helps and acts a strong companion piece to the sound work. "All is Lost" is one of the more pleasing and emotionally satisfying dramas of the year that had me at the edge of my seat. There are many that could see it as a guy just having a really bad week, or one of the few cinematic endeavors of the year that exemplifies the vulnerable parts of soul. If you're looking for a quality Oscar contender for 2013, "All is Lost" will offer you a delectable helping with all the trimmings.
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