Film review: All is Lost (8 out of 10)

Robert Redford in All is Lost
Robert Redford in All is Lost

The latest contender for an Oscar rears its head with this unusual story of one man’s fight for survival.

It’s unusual because the only actor is Robert Redford whose dialogue throughout the movie could be jotted down on an organiser note.

Redford, still sporting some grizzled good looks in his 70s, is presented to the audience simply as a man on a boat.

We have to work out any back-story ourselves from scant clues. He sports a wedding ring but we have no real idea why this married man is on a yacht in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

It seems he he has all the correct equipment for the trip but most of this is wrecked when the boat collides with a random container (presumably having fallen off a ship).

The yacht is holed and water shorts out the electrics.

This is in the first few minutes and the rest of the film is the man’s battle with the elements and Lady Luck.

In fact, Ms Luck rarely makes an appearance which does make this a slightly frustrating film.

Without giving anything away, I also wasn’t too happy with the ending.

What isn’t in doubt is Mr Redford’s performance. He plays the lone sailor as a determined and intelligent man who is brought to his knees by circumstances, but this is done in a very believable way.

He also did most of the stunts which proves he is still very fit.

Director J.C. Chandor has shot this film superbly in an almost documentary style, showing both the beauty of the ocean and its wildlife and the ferocity of its storms.

Backed up by some subtle but effective music, this is an impressive film that reveals Redford’s remarkable ability to a new young audience.

Film details: All is Lost (12A) 106mins

Director: J.C. Chandor.

Starring: Robert Redford,

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley