x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Literally the only actor on screen, Robert Redford is simply sublime – almost as brave as his character facing the elements.

All Is Lost Director: J C Chandor Starring: Robert Redford ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

Sometimes, a Hollywood picture comes along that feels so radical, so different to the status quo, you wonder just how it ever got made. J C Chandor’s All Is Lost is one such movie. It stars Robert Redford as an unnamed sailor, fighting against the odds when his yacht begins to take in water. Shot with barely a line of dialogue, Redford is, literally, the only actor on screen. While Hollywood is partial to solo survival stories – Tom Hanks in Cast Away, Sandra Bullock in the recent Gravity – they usually come equipped with a backstory, other characters, or something. Not here. Chandor – whose impressive debut, the verbose 2011 Wall Street drama Margin Call, won him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay – has stripped this story back to its bare bones. When Redford’s seasoned seaman wakes up to discover a metal container floating in the ocean has torn a hole in his hull, he sets out to repair the damage, but Mother Nature begins to conspire against him, as the weather and the water threaten to capsize his vessel. While it’s not a silent movie in the traditional sense – for there is sound – it relies on action and gesture. As a concept, it could so easily have sunk the whole film, but Chandor keeps the film afloat with the help of his own crew – from his visual effects team to his editor, Pete Beaudreau. As for Redford, he is simply sublime – almost as brave as his character facing the elements. His performance, like this film, is inspirational.

artslife@thenational.ae