Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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Not good! Critics always seem to be wrong. This is no exception.
I don't get it. Redford is portraying a seasoned, round-the-world sailor, yet spends 2hrs+ looking totally bewildered. There is little in the way of verve, or urgency, and the movie just plods along at a pace that doesn't make you feel like you're there with the character, sharing in a life and death experience.
This movie isn't for everyone. If you go into it expecting to see a Redford-starring "The Perfect Storm" or even "Cast Away" then you will come out disappointed.
But this is a beautiful film. The cinematography is stunning. As has been pointed out before, Redford speaks only 2 sentences during the opening title scene and that is it for the rest of the film (aside from 2 instances of single-word expletives throughout the film). Yet despite the lack of dialogue, I felt close to the single unnamed character (credited simply as "Old Man") and attached to his survival.
I rooted for him as he intelligently and poignantly tackled each obstacle mother nature threw his way. There were multiple times when I caught myself so engrossed in the film that my jaw was physically open. A true jaw-dropping performance.
There is something beautiful throughout this film to watch for. There are several cutscenes from beneath the waves showing our man from the sea's perspective. As we watch our hero struggle more and more to survive, we see nature begin to thrive. This movie focuses on that inverse correlation. The raging sea can be the most horrific experience a man endures, and yet in the morning, you can wake up to a glass dawn sea which is the most beautiful experience a man can witness. This movie is about helplessness. How you can lose even when you do everything right.
The film is beautiful. You'll want to watch it again.
A survival film with only one actor has quiet a bit of positives and negatives. All is Lost clearly shows those traits. J.C. Chandor brought great directing and cinematography while Robert Redford did excellent as the only character. It too bad the lone character has no back story or monologue, making it difficult to relate to him. The story is predictable and has forced, mild suspense to try and keep you invested along its slow pacing. A well-shot slow burn of a film you should see and never see again.
Thought it was a hugely suspenseful movie and a great acting performance by an acting legend. The lack of dialogue and pace of the film only made it more realistic for me. Seems to have polarised some of the audience, but I feel like too many people rely on Hollywood formulas containing loads of action & dialogue. This movie requires you to step into this guys shoes as his situation goes from bad to worse & it reminds you how completely alone he is. Had myself & my son in suspense right through to the end.
All Is Lost
Chandor's attention seeking concept is a spark only at ignition, for a tale as such that is supposed to grow on you, merely settles for a qualified score. As far as the idea is concerned, it surely is the ultimate dream for any maker to pull off a heist as such without uttering a single word. And lopping off all the hokum of the supportive stems or extra branches cloaked as the background tale or the characterization of the character, the makers are aiming for the root and nothing else. This fragile raw core of the film is through and through, which is also the reason there is no grittiness in the narration.
Addition to that there is very little romance between Redford and the nature, there is a physical distance between them, a void that cannot be filled. Since no matter how much they may not get along and resist each other's existence, the tug of war ought to have a rope as a medium to hold on to. Nevertheless, these few limitations are overcome by brilliant execution and stunning performance. Redford as the only person visible on screen has all the challenge and none the competition.
Evolving on his own terms, Redford is floating in his own bubble, chewing out the material and savoring all the sweetness, his majestic performance is the soul reason this movie survives on communicating the high stakes to its viewers. In such avant-garde concept, the sheer pressure is directed towards the grip of the storytelling in order to hold the audience at its best, and with Chandor's stability and easiness, it manages to check off that item successfully. All Is Lost is everything to be gained from, from Redford's argumentative expressive face to Chandor's busyness in a boat, the film survives.
The heads. That's what these boaty types call the bogs. Well anyhoo, that's where I would have been after having me boat stove in miles from anywhere. I'd have been in the heads shitting meself, crying as the water poured in. I certainly wouldn't be as calm as Redford's character, let's put it that way. Speaking of Redford, he still shines, doesn't he? What a fabulous actor. The very definition of screen presence. Cracking adventure yarn.
Although unrelated in story, this movie reads like Hemmingway's "The Old Man and The Sea". Many of the negative review posts completely missed the point. This movie is NOT about "How to Sail", or the "Best Technique of Sailing", or "Exciting Sailing Action", or "What to do in a disaster". This film is about struggle and desperation slowly and quietly unfolding. It's a gripping tale that takes you through the pain and suffering of an old man. I think this is Redford at his best.
Dude where's my EPIRB?