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'All is Lost' Except Redford's Good Looks (and Talent)

Photo: Courtesy Photo, License: N/A

Courtesy Photo

The still-incredibly-good-looking old man and the sea—Our Man (Robert Redford) in 'All Is Lost'

This means that the entire film hinges on Redford’s near-silent performance. Fortunately, he brings both physicality and emotion to the role, subtly shifting from anger to surprise to despair. It’s a completely naturalistic performance, stripped of ego or artifice, and you often forget you’re watching a Hollywood icon. Only Alex Ebert’s occasionally intrusive music score dispels the carefully constructed intimacy and immediacy.

Chandor’s patient and unsentimental examination of human perseverance, ingenuity and mortality ultimately delivers an ambiguous ending. As you leave the theater, don’t be surprised if the experience sits uncomfortably in the back of your mind. Redford’s character may have led a successful life, but he, like all of us, is at the mercy of time and the elements. All Is Lost is a reminder that we are all slowly marching toward the grave—watery or otherwise.

All Is Lost

Writ. and dir. J.C. Chandor; feat. Robert Redford. (PG-13)
Opens November 8 at Santikos Bijou

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