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'All is Lost' starring Robert Redford a film to respect, not love

Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie thinks "All is Lost," rated PG-13 and starring Robert Redford, is an interesting film.

"All is Lost" begins with a voiceover in which Robert Redford's character is explaining to his loved ones that he did his best to survive an ordeal alone on the ocean. Then, the movie goes back eight days in time to show us what has happened.

The movie gets right down to business as Redford's character wakes to find water streaming into the cabin of his sailboat, which we are informed is very far from land. The boat appears to have collided with a metal container that we assume has fallen from a large ship. The impact has made a gash on the side of the sailboat that allows the water into the vessel.

Redford's character, who is listed as Our Man in the movie's credits, sets about creating a makeshift repair to his boat and bailing out the water. Redford says very little and you often have to read his face to see what he is thinking during "All is Lost," which is available on DVD.

Redford goes about the business of trying to keep the boat afloat as things continue to get worse for his character. Storms set in and the boat is further damaged and he must try to survive in an emergency inflatable raft with hopes of being seen and rescued by a larger shipping vessel.

"All is Lost" is an interesting film and one to be commended for focusing on a single character in such an unusual situation. But, on the other hand, I found myself losing patience a time or two before the film pulled my attention back.

Those opening comments in Redford's voiceover must be what he later writes and seals in a container and throws into the ocean.

As a viewer, I wanted Redford's character to survive (I'm not saying if he does or doesn't) and was impressed with his cleverness and calm demeanor under pressure. Yet I wondered if I would care even more if the film had given us additional information about Redford's character and even more reasons to be invested emotionally.

While "All is Lost" was an adventure and took me on a journey with Redford's character, I liked and respected the film but didn't love it.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.

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