All Is Lost – hopefully not…

Occasionally we’ll see a film and feel compelled to write about it. All Is Lost was one such film.

This film stands out from the crowd of recent offerings because this is a film that has virtually no dialogue and only one actor, who is over 77 years old incidentally. Yet, it is one of the most gripping and exciting films we’ve seen for a while.

Perhaps the fact this film was “snubbed” at the Oscars speaks a lot about the dangers of bucking conventions in filmic storytelling. But if it does, then it also speaks a lot about the bravery of director J.C. Chandor and its star, Hollywood veteran, Robert Redford.

It’s a film that is truly a cinematic experience, it is a visceral and very moving tribute to the ingenuity and resilience of the human spirit, something our current film, All That Remains also pays homage to. The film is also a tribute to Redford’s ability to still hack it as a leading man, considering the weight of the entire film is placed on his shoulders alone.

Redford plays an unnamed man who is undertaking a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean; the film opens on the moment he wakes to find his 39-foot yacht flooding after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. What follows is a relentless fight for survival.

It’s very similar in many ways to Gravity, staring Sandra Bullock as an astronaut stranded above the earth, but, although we found Gravity both gripping and visually stunning, we did not find quite as engaging or as powerful as All Is Lost.

Brave choices in film-making and storytelling should be rewarded, for that reason alone, go watch All Is Lost and then maybe more films will be encouraged to break the mold of the cliche  formulaic movies churned out by the hundreds each year.

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