2013 / Director. J.C. Chandor.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
It's a tall order to make a film that is set entirely in one location, let alone featuring ZERO dialogue (aside from a few opening lines of narration and one almighty F-bomb). ALL IS LOST took the challenge and delivered in spades. This is a stunning film and one I would tout as a triumph (I hate that word). Robert Redford stars as a lone man sailing his yacht across the Indian Ocean. He finds himself in a spot of bother when he wakes to find his boat wedged to a stricken shipping container. The yacht's hull has been breached and water gushes in. Most people would break down in panic but Redford's character doesn't. He keeps his composure and assesses the situation. Throughout the film things go from worse to worse and all the while he maintains a quiet sense of determination. The film is quite incredible on all kinds of levels. Redford's performance is brilliant and physically taxing (he's in his late 70s) and easily amongst his best... but it's the filmmaking that scores most of the points. Director JC Chandor has managed to capture this entire story of will in a claustrophobic and confined space, using all manners of techniques. Some of it was filmed on the high sea and some of it was filmed in a tank. The camera is constantly invading Redford's personal space and water seeps into every single frame. It was also shot without audio, allowing Chandor to verbally direct freely, without restraint... and when you consider that you then need to consider how incredible the folly and soundtrack work is. Amazing. With no dialogue, no back story and no traditional character development ALL IS LOST is situation film... it's a predicament... and like all good films it leaves plenty of room for discussion. It impressed the shit out of me.