MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Photo By Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions
On Blu-Ray, DVD, Amazon Instant, iTunes and Video On Demand
Directed by J. C. Chandor. Starring Robert Redford.
When All Is Lost begins, we hear the voice of Our Man (Redford) composing an apologetic farewell letter to his friends. It seems as if he is in deep trouble and not expecting to survive.
The film then cuts to eight days earlier and we see a solitary sailor adrift on the Indian Ocean. In just a few moments his ship will be damaged in a freak accident and he will be fighting against the elements.
There is no dialogue to speak of and we know nothing about this solitary man except what we see on the screen. Why is he all alone? From the size of his yacht, it seems as if he is a man of means. And if he is an American sailing in the Indian Ocean, he must have the ability to enjoy world travel.
All Is Lost is an existential adventure story and may also be seen as a spiritual commentary about the limitations of our possessions. Our Man is a hero, to be sure, and Robert Redford delivers a spectacular performance that is one of the greatest accomplishments of physical acting that I’ve seen on screen (and not too shabby for a 77 year old guy!). When the credits roll, you discover that there was much digital wizardry involved in creating this battle at sea. But make no mistake – Redford is every inch the rugged sailor and he really throws his body into this role.
But what are the values of solitary heroics? How much of our life’s troubles are caused by our selfish, well-intended choices? And where is God in the midst of the storm? All Is Lost is another strong morality play from writer-director J. C. Chandor, who also gave us 2011’s Margin Call.
I have waited a long time to review All Is Lost, a film that left theaters too soon to mention in The Message in the Movies at the time. It is one of the best movies of 2013 and a great discussion film, including a wonderful and memorable ending.
Four halos: A remarkable meditation on survival, mortality, and self-reliance.
One pitchfork: For a film with virtually no dialogue, our little F-bomb makes a guest appearance.
Thanks to Bruce for his review of “All Is Lost.” My husband and I watched it one evening and were captivated. I didn’t understand a lot of the “sailing” things, but understood enough to appreciate his predicament. Very touching at the end.
- Anne Fisher
Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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