After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face.
‘All Is Lost’ follows lone sailor Robert Redford aboard his luxury sailboat in the middle of a vast and empty ocean. An ocean that is both calm and relaxing, that is until a cargo container punctures the side of his boat while he’s taking a nap. From here we follow Redford’s every move, almost in real time, as he figures out how to fix the hole that slowly fills his boat with water. With Redford being the only actor on screen, we get little or no dialogue that often makes you wonder ‘Why is he doing that?’ only to see what he’s up to shorty after.
‘All Is Lost’ is a highly realistic survival tale highlighting that the ocean is a place where being bored to death is only broken up by moments of being scared to death. One of these moments being a spectacular action sequence involving his tattered boat capsizing during a storm, it’s breathtakingly executed and is guaranteed to have you holding your breath. In contrast the loneliness and silence in the film is sparsely filled with clever soundscapes and a beautifully subtle score by Alexander Ebert – from the band Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zero’s.
It’s an interesting cinematic experiment with its one actor and no dialogue (virtually). It’s an experiment that mostly works but is ruined by a narrated opening sequence, it’s like the producers said ‘We can’t have a film without dialogue, that’s madness’. Another great addition to this experiment is that over the course of his harrowing journey we learn nothing about the man, except that he’s determined to survive.
Review out of five stars: ★★★1/2 Stars
Review by Andy Marshall – to find me on Letterboxd click HERE
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