PG-13, 106 minutes
In many ways, “All Is Lost” is 2013’s companion film to “Gravity,” though far fewer people saw it.
Written and directed by rising young talent J.C. Chandor, “All Is Lost” stars Robert Redford as Our Man, an unnamed lone seafarer aboard a high-class sailboat. Like Sandra Bullock did in space, he faces an existential crisis when his vessel is fatally damaged, and he spends the rest of the movie trying valiantly – though without much hope – to survive.
Apart from a brief narration right at the beginning and a handful of epithets sprinkled throughout, the film is wordless. It’s just Redford’s presence, Chandor’s beautiful yet haunting photography and Alex Ebert’s music.
Trouble begins when a lost cargo container smashes into his hull, flooding the living compartments and shorting out his radio. He labors at repairs, but a sea storm soon rises and damages the ship even more severely, dashing his hopes at an easy fix.
As his situation grows ever direr, Our Man must rely on his ingenuity to find ways to navigate and procure drinking water – even as his will to live ebbs.
A transfixing experience, “All Is Lost” is a true find.