Hope you like Robert Redford because there is a lot of him in this movie.

As a matter of fact, Robert Redford plays the ONLY character of the movie. It's not an easy thing to do of course, since you have no one else to fall back on or to play off on. But leave it up to Robert Redford to carry a movie. Even at the age of 77(!) he's still as professional, capable and charismatic as ever, this time as a (nameless) man fighting for survival against the elements and against the odds.

Maybe this movie is not as intense or technically and visually as impressive as "Gravity" but in its core, this movie is just as powerful and engaging to watch. And of course lots of people are going to compare the two movies because they share the same sort of premise and got released in the same year and are both up for some awards.

But of course the two are completely different movies really. Not only with its settings but also with all of its themes. I feel and believe that "All Is Lost" is a more straightforward movie and perhaps even a more realistic one as well because of the simple fact that it isn't as visually or technically impressive but is a more humble and personal movie instead. Personal in the sense that you truly feel a connection with the character, even though he hardly has any lines and you know absolutely nothing about his personal life or background and get to know absolutely nothing about it either.

For the record, "Gravity" is still the better movie though.

So there isn't much dialog and there really isn't much story either but there really was no need for it! The images and dangerous situations all speak for themselves and are enough to make you feel involved with things.

But it's also really thanks to the Robert Redford character and the performance by him that this movie at all times remains an interesting and engaging one to watch, that never bores or starts to drag. He's like a MacGyver, adrift at sea, constantly looking for new solutions to new and bigger problems, while having nothing but just a few items at hand. I liked how his survival instinct kicked in immediately and how he never let his fear get the better of him. He doesn't panic but stays rational. You don't need story- or character development to get to know and understand the character. You understand- and know what he must be thinking and feeling, often by just looking at his body language and subtle facial expressions. It's a very subtle, yet incredibly effective, performance by Redford.

It simply is a great little, simplistic and very straightforward movie, that works out as a very effective one. Just can't say much negative about it!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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