All is Lost
We haven't seen Redford in a film in quite a while, and this alone was quite a treat.
Yeah, sure, the man has aged but he hasn't lost his acting prowess. A number of people have never appreciated his acting ability, and this is a shame. The first time I noticed Redford was way back in an early "Twilight Zone" episode, playing a charming Mr. Death character -- one of the best TZ films ever made.
Later, I noticed him in "Barefoot in the Park," a comedy he shared with Jane Fonda, which I thought was terrific.
His breakthrough, of course, was "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." He and Paul Newman turned in unforgettable performances.
Thereafter, Redford was never in lack of work. He did so many films, it would be tiresome to list them all here. One of my favorites was "Three Days of the Condor." If you haven't seen it, rent it, as the film holds up well even under today's standards.
At the onset this was going to be a movie people loved or hated. It harkens back to films like Redford's "Jerimiah Johnson," where there is almost no dialogue, and the film relies primarily upon the visual expressions of the actor as well as the background.
Clearly, without dialogue or an over-narrative, this movie was purposed for a thinking, more mature crowd -- one that didn't rely on non-stop action, shoot-outs, car chases and explosions. The story itself is very simple. A guy out for a sail is struck by an errant cargo container that punctures his ship and begins his misery. Step by step we see what any logical-thinking sailor would do. He attempts to patch the hole, pumps the water out and hopes for the best. He has no radio contact.
But this guy is not exactly lucky. He's also confronted by a giant storm that opens the hole to his ship and all but floods it. Again you see the protagonist do what he can to stave off abandoning his vessel. Ultimately, this becomes useless, and he has no choice but to board a life raft. Even here, his luck doesn't change. He's out of water/food, surrounded by sharks, and his raft begins to leak.
There is more, but I won't go there because I've already given away too much.
I cannot recommend the film to everyone. It's sort of an old-school type creation -- an "Old Man of the Sea" without the marlin. The younger generation won't appreciate the effort, having been raised on "The Transformers." This is a very straight-forward, honest film that attempts to tell a rather simple story in an honest manner. If this isn't your cup of tea, I understand a new "Godzilla" film is in the works.