Robert Redford gives a powerful solo performance as a man who is out at sea and struggles for his life after a series of overwhelming trials and tribulations in All is Lost. The film opens with Redford’s unnamed character giving a monologue over a shot of what appears to be a lone cargo crate floating in water. The man explains that he did everything he could, everything in his power to try and overcome the challenges he faced, it isn’t clear whether or not he has failed or succeeded, but he apologizes and says he did all that he could.

The next scene begins the list of things that go wrong for the main character. The man is awakened by the sound of swishing water inside of his cabin. He sees that a large cargo crate has impaled the side of his boat and is letting water inside the cabin. Redford’s character looks weathered, clearly an older man who knows the sea and knows his boat; he is calm, and he dismantles the problem by separating the crate from the boat and is able to patch up the side of the boat with an adhesive and some material he finds around the boat. Redford delivers perfectly this persona of a man who doesn’t panic in the face of adversity. He responds to the incident, one which could have very easily ended fatally for his boat and his life, and he responds with the proper plan of action after clearly analyzing the situation and determining the optimal course of action.

After the initial speech given, there are almost no spoken words, and yet, it is extremely clear as to what the man is thinking at any given moment. Redford’s character assumes this controlled demeanor despite the tremendous obstacles he faces. While the movie does seem to progress somewhat slowly at times, this is perhaps the effect that the Writer/Director, J.C. Chandor, intended.

The special features give an in-depth look into all the intricacies behind the making of All Is Lost, including a full length commentary from director Chandor. The next feature is entitled “The Story” and gives the basic idea behind the film which is described as an existential action film about a man surviving a long trip at sea. The next two features are about the approach taken, first, by Writer/Director, J.C. Chandor, and second, by actor, Robert Redford. The two men became very involved in the movie and commit completely to their roles on the project. There are a few other features, including “The Sound of All is Lost,” “Big Film, Small Film” and “Preparing for the Storm.” These three features give an exclusive look into the ideas and the efforts put into making this indie film with very specific needs that would normally be suited for a much larger picture. The sound of the movie is very thought out as there is very little music; the sound, along with the plane of the screen, are planned out to match what the main character experiences.

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