Urged by a super intuitive, intelligent friend, I grudgingly went to see “All Is Lost”; remarkably, one of the finest films of the year. I am in her debt.
My trepidation was the resiliency of “Cast Away” (2000,film); Tom Hanks’ stupendous performance as a Fed Ex engineer stranded for years on an island; his sole companion “Wilson” (never have viewed a “basketball” or game, without recalling the movie) its tedious, lugubrious tempo; inexorable frustration, exhaustion, futility; an unforgettable experience that I never wanted to duplicate.
“All Is Lost” is diametrically different than “Cast Away”; we know “Chuck Noland” (Hanks), his trade, his love; his insouciant personality, his savoir faire; we have a vested interest in his welfare, survival. Director J.C. Chandor’s “lost man”( formidable performance by Robert Redford) is nameless, he is “Everyman”, a metaphor for the timeless adventurer; his face, a craggy map, narrative of a well-tread journey. Gorgeously filmed, commencing on the eighth day, our beleaguered voyager writes to those who have peppered his existence; a soliloquy addressing his good intentions, recognizing his fractured accomplishments; apologizing, declaring “all is lost”; the universality of the message resonates with any individual who has tasted the brine and nectar of life’s choices.
Redford, wordlessly, communicates immense resources; his luxurious sailboat is rammed by a rogue container, hauling children’s shoes; he salvages what he can from his mortally wounded home; concentrating on his celestial navigation books and tools; his supreme confidence, inventiveness are slowly chiseled away by nature; two harrowing storms, test his mettle, and slowly devour his lifesaving devises; his resolve refuses to erode; he is “the master of his fate, the captain of his soul”.
Riveting, breathtaking, “All Is Lost” is a wonderful parable of hope; the immensity of what can be salvaged, when all is lost.
FOUR & 1/2 STARS!!!!