Sunday, 12 October 2014

All Is Lost (2013)

It's perhaps a big ask of today's cinema goers to watch a film set entirely upon a small yacht on the Indian Ocean, with the bare minimum of dialogue and just one (veteran) actor, but that's the ask assured director JC Chandor (Margin Call) makes with All Is Lost and he does so with the eternally magnetic Robert Redford who makes it a compelling and deeply emotive and thought provoking movie.

Unfortunately, it proved to be an even bigger ask for the academy who snubbed the film in all bar one category (Sound Editing) and robbed the 77 year old Redford of a Best Actor nomination that he so richly deserved.

There's something sobering about seeing Redford, this once beautiful young Adonis of a man now cutting a solitary, craggy and mysterious swathe across the film's perilous action. As he calls upon his reserves of courage and inner strength and faces up to the his own mortality, so to do we, the audience, as we ponder just how we would fare in such a situation and how long ago Redford's golden heyday was now. He's still a first class actor and an absolute star; he still has the ability to attract the viewer and hold their attention and that's exactly what the technical requirements of Chandor's film needed to have, but this is unmistakably a personal acknowledgement from Redford regarding his senior years in a manner which his contemporaries would hesitate to admit or fail to deliver as effectively. Is this film really just an existential metaphor on human ageing and impending death? Do you know, it just might be.

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