Friday, February 14, 2014

2013 Awards Circuit: All Is Lost Review

2013 Awards Circuit

All Is Lost Review
The 2013 Awards Circuit will be a collection of reviews of films that are in some kind of award running within the months of January through March. Not only will this prepare me for the big night (AKA Oscar Night), but it will also allow me to catch up with some of the critically acclaimed films I missed in 2013. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy watching and writing them.

I don't know how much of review this will be. "All Is Lost" while pretty good, is actually fairly straightforward. Robert Redford plays a nameless character who has gone out on his boat and gets cast out in somewhere deep in the Indian Ocean. The movie is about how he survives out on the water, especially after a huge storm that he heads right into.

If you saw 2000's "Cast Away" and if you saw 2007's "I Am Legend," then you have a pretty good idea of how "All Is Lost" shakes out. While I dig both "Cast Away" and " I Am Legend," I am certain that "All Is Lost" features less dialogue compared to both of those films. This a no-holds-barred, survival film about one human being. Either you'll dig that kind of character study or you won't. One of the main reasons why "All Is Lost" remains afloat throughout its running time is the charisma of Robert Redford. Redford barley has a single line in this whole movie, but just how he looks at the camera makes all the difference in the world. I am sure this was a rather difficult picture to make, simply based on Redford having nobody to interact with and its just all on him. But he makes it all worth while and saves this film from caving in.

Aside from Redford's great performance, there is some great scenery in the film. There are several scenes which take place underwater that are just breath-taking. The cinematography by Frank G. DeMarco is some of the most exquisite cinematography in awhile. The movie also features remarkable sound, for which is why it will be represented in The Academy coming pretty soon. We feel the fury of the storm, the whip of the wind, and confusion of the movements. Its actually quite amazing how much of an impact sound really has on films and "All Is Lost" is perfect example of that.

Director J.C. Chandor made "Margin Call" in 2011, a great movie if it weren't for its over-use of Wall Street babble. I feel "All Is Lost" is quite the step up from "Margin Call." I don't think it does anything better compared to "Cast Away" or "I Am Legend" or any other film of its kind. What the movie does do is create a moving, human experience. I think J.C. Chandor will be an interesting voice to keep an ear out for as the years go by.


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