Film Review: All Is Lost (2013)

on Thursday, December 26, 2013
'All Is Lost' (UK Release: 26 Dec '13) // Words: Saam Das

Boxing Day is an unusual release date to choose for 'All Is Lost', something of an anti-thesis of Christmas cheer as Robert Redford's unnamed lone sailor character left to fight for his life in the open water. Academy Award nominated 'Margin Call' writer-director JC Chandor returns with a tense survival thriller.

The film begins with Redford's boat taking on water following an accident with a drifting cargo container. The sailor seems unperturbed by the situation, patching up the breach and moving onward. However, with his radio and electrical equipment now compromised, Redford's misfortune begins to compound as he encounters a particularly violent storm.

Our unflappable sailor soon finds himself in a battle between the vast ocean and his own diminishing hope and increasing desperation. The calmness and resourcefulness exhibited matches the actions seen in another recent survival thriller, 'Gravity'. Much like 'Gravity', the viewer is taken on a fraught voyage, albeit with significantly slower pacing.

Words are also scant in 'All Is Lost' but Redford nonetheless turns in a terrific performance, potentially leaving him in line for another Oscar nomination at the age of 77. Unfortunately, the film's death-or-glory finale seemingly cheapens the preceding ordeal - Chandor's writing letting him down in a time of need.


'All Is Lost' is out in UK cinemas from today, through Universal Pictures.

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