Movie review: All Is Lost (2013)

All Is Lost left me hanging on the edge of my seat. As the movie ended, I realized that my mouth was open, jaw dropped. Wow. It wasn’t really quite the ending I expected.

All through the movie you think you know what to expect. Idyllic life on a sailboat drifting in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Only it wouldn’t be a movie, a story to tell, if it stayed Idyllic. Quickly things go bad. And keep going bad.

I found that I wished I knew about sailing. When disaster struck, I didn’t have a clue what the next step should be. How much richer the movie would have been for me if I were a sailor. If I knew what one should do in a particular situation…and then I could compare that to what Redford’s character did. Did he do what he should have? Did he make missteps that a good sailor would not have? Should not have?

For the most part, he met every crisis cool and collected. But things happened that just seemed unreal to me. In a storm, the sailboat flips upside down. Looking over his shoulder, we see the ocean outside of a glass window that should have shown us the sky.

As expected Robert Redford did a smashing job, holding a movie together that had no dialogue and precious few words. We see the emotions of a man as hope dwindles though never fades completely until the end.

Some months ago, Terry Gross interviewed Robert about All Is Lost. What struck with me from the interview was his comments about how physically grueling making the movie was. And how he suffered some permanent hearing loss from it. But he didn’t regret making the movie. After seeing the movie, I can understand his sentiments. All Is Lost would be a physically exhausting, but enticing, movie to make for any actor.

Although 77, I hope Redford continues to take on roles, albeit less physically taxing ones. If he does not, perhaps all really is lost.

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