All Is Lost

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All Is Lost
All is Lost poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJ. C. Chandor
Produced byJustin Nappi
Teddy Schwarzman
Neal Dodson
Anna Gerb
Written byJ. C. Chandor
StarringRobert Redford
Music byAlex Ebert
CinematographyFrank G. DeMarco
Editing byPete Beaudreau
StudioBefore the Door Pictures
Washington Square Films
Distributed byLionsgate (USA)
FilmNation Entertainment (International)[1]
Release dates
  • May 22, 2013 (2013-05-22) (Cannes)
  • October 18, 2013 (2013-10-18) (United States)
Running time100 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$8.5 million[2]
Box office$6,181,910[3]
 
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All Is Lost
All is Lost poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJ. C. Chandor
Produced byJustin Nappi
Teddy Schwarzman
Neal Dodson
Anna Gerb
Written byJ. C. Chandor
StarringRobert Redford
Music byAlex Ebert
CinematographyFrank G. DeMarco
Editing byPete Beaudreau
StudioBefore the Door Pictures
Washington Square Films
Distributed byLionsgate (USA)
FilmNation Entertainment (International)[1]
Release dates
  • May 22, 2013 (2013-05-22) (Cannes)
  • October 18, 2013 (2013-10-18) (United States)
Running time100 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$8.5 million[2]
Box office$6,181,910[3]

All Is Lost is a 2013 American survival film written and directed by J. C. Chandor. The film stars Robert Redford as a man lost at sea. Redford is the only cast member, and the film has almost no dialogue. All Is Lost is Chandor's second feature film, following his 2011 debut Margin Call. It screened out of competition at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Plot[edit]

The movie opens somewhere in the Indian Ocean with the unnamed main character (Robert Redford) narrating, "I'm sorry. I know that means little at this point, but I am. I tried. I think you would all agree that I tried. To be true, to be strong, to be kind, to love, to be right. But I wasn't." He declares that, "All is lost."

Eight days earlier, he wakes up and sees that water has flooded his boat, the "Virginia Jean." He goes out onto the deck and sees that his boat has collided with a wayward shipping container and ripped a hole in the hull. He goes below to get a sea anchor and ties it to the container. He then steers the boat away from the container and eventually gets it to dislodge. He goes to work patching up the hole in his boat and then uses a knife to carve a piece of wood until it can fit in the bilge pump hole, as he has lost the lever for it. After the cleanup, he finds that the boat’s navigational and communications systems have been damaged from the collision. He climbs up to the top of the mast, repairs the radio tower, and then climbs down. He pulls out the radio equipment and pours water on the interior of the devices to remove conductive sea salt from them. Then, using a storage battery, he connects the radio to it and turns it on. He returns to the cabin and begins to read a book on celestial navigation when the radio comes on. He hurries to it and tries to pick up the signal, but eventually it drops out of range and cannot pick up anything.

A storm quickly converges on his position and he tries everything he can to outrun it and stay on course, but he almost gets thrown overboard. The boat capsizes, destroying the mast and all the equipment on board. With the boat badly damaged and sinking, he decides to abandon ship in an inflatable life raft, salvaging whatever he can to survive.

As he learns how to operate a sextant he salvaged from the boat, he figures his best hope of being found is to use the ocean currents to carry him to the shipping lanes. During the journey, his supplies dwindle and he learns too late that his drinking water has been contaminated with sea water. He improvises to use condensation from plastic bags to get fresh water. He realizes he is being followed by sharks, attracted to the water around the raft because of the presence of small fish.

He reaches the shipping lanes and is passed by two cargo ships. They do not notice him and continue on, despite his using signaling devices. He eventually drifts out of the shipping lanes and back to open ocean. However, he is out of food and water and cannot hope to survive much longer. On the eighth day, he writes a letter (as was narrated at the beginning of the movie), puts it in a jar, and throws it in the water as a message bottle for anyone to find.

Later that night he sees a light in the distance, possibly another ship. He is out of signaling devices, but uses his journal book and charts to create a signal fire. The fire gets out of control and burns his raft. He falls into the water, but is weak and struggling to swim. Having finally lost all hope of surviving, he stops swimming and lets himself sink. But before he drowns, he sees the hull of a boat with a search light approaching his burning raft. He starts swimming to the surface. The movie cuts to white just as a hand from the boat reaches out to pull him up, a deliberately ambiguous scene interpreted differently by those in the audience. [4]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

All Is Lost is written and directed by J. C. Chandor in his sophomore effort, following his 2011 feature film debut Margin Call. During his time commuting from Providence, Rhode Island to New York, Chandor developed the idea for All Is Lost.[5] After meeting Robert Redford at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival where Margin Call premiered, Chandor asked the veteran actor to be in the film. On February 9, 2012, Redford's casting was confirmed for All Is Lost as its only cast member.[6] In addition to there being only one actor in the film, Redford also stated that the film has no dialogue, however there are a few spoken lines.[7] Because of these aspects, the shooting script was only 31 pages long.[5]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began in mid-2012 at Baja Studios in Rosarito Beach in Mexico. Baja Studios was originally built for the 1997 film Titanic.[6] Filming took place for two months in the location's water tank.[8] At a press conference after the film's screening at Cannes 2013, Redford revealed that his ear was damaged during the production. [9]

Music[edit]

The film score to All Is Lost is composed by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ frontman Alex Ebert, who signed on to the film in November 2012.[10] Speaking of the experience of working on the film, Ebert said, "This project was a dream - an open space to play in but also space to listen to the elements - wind, water, rain, sun, are the story's other characters to me. I knew I had quite a task ahead of me: to at once allow the elements to sing and to give Redford a voice with which to, once in a while, respond."[11]

A soundtrack album featuring ten original compositions and one new song all written, composed, and produced by Ebert was released on October 1, 2013 by Community Music.[12] On September 12, 2013, the song "Amen" from the soundtrack was made available for streaming.[13]

Release[edit]

All Is Lost screened out of competition at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on May 22.[14] The film was distributed theatrically by Lionsgate in the United States,[15] while Universal Pictures distributed the film in international territories.[16] It began a limited release in the United States on October 18, 2013.

Reception[edit]

All Is Lost has received critical acclaim. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 94% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 156 reviews, with an average score of 8/10. The site's consensus states: "Anchored by another tremendous performance in a career full of them, All Is Lost offers a moving, eminently worthwhile testament to Robert Redford's ability to hold the screen."[17] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 based on reviews from critics, the film has a score of 87 based on 43 reviews, considered to be "universal acclaim".[18]

After the screening of the film at the Cannes Film Festival, Redford received a standing ovation.[19] Writing for The Independent, Geoffrey Macnab said the film was "utterly compelling viewing".[20] Andrew Pulver, writing for The Guardian, said that "Redford delivers a tour de force performance: holding the screen effortlessly with no acting support whatsoever."[21] Justin Chang of Variety said of Redford's performance that he "holds the viewer’s attention merely by wincing, scowling, troubleshooting and yelling the occasional expletive".[22] Robbie Collin of The Telegraph said, "The film's scope is limited, but as far as it goes, All Is Lost is very good indeed: a neat idea, very nimbly executed."[23]

Alan Scherstuhl of The Village Voice writes that the film is "a genuine nail-biter, scrupulously made and fully involving, elemental in its simplicity."[24] David Morgan of CBS News gave the film a positive review, stating, "Four decades ago Redford demonstrated a similar capacity for survival skills as the mountain man Jeremiah Johnson. Today, at age 77, without a supporting cast (not even a CGI tiger) and performing virtually all of his water stunts himself, Redford proves he is still up to the task, shining in what is an extremely physical but also an intellectually demanding role."[25]

Steve Pulaski of Influx Magazine gave the film an A-, commenting, "All is Lost is a strong film in terms of mood and score. I have no idea what audiences will think of it. Some will hail it[...]and others will loathe it for not getting more to the bottom of things and leaving each scene with some element of ambiguity."[26]

Accolades[edit]

Awards
AwardCategoryRecipients and nomineesResult
Chicago Film Critics AssociationBest ActorRobert RedfordNominated
Detroit Film Critics Society[27]Best ActorRobert RedfordNominated
71st Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor - Motion Picture DramaRobert RedfordPending
Best Original ScoreAlex EbertPending
Gotham Awards[28]Best ActorRobert RedfordNominated
Independent Spirit Awards[29]Best FeaturePending
Best DirectorJ. C. ChandorPending
Best Male LeadRobert RedfordPending
Best CinematographyFrank G. DeMarcoPending
New York Film Critics Circle[30]Best ActorRobert RedfordWon
Phoenix Film Critics Society[31]Best Actor in a Leading RoleRobert RedfordPending
San Francisco Film Critics CircleBest ActorRobert RedfordNominated
Best EditingPete BeaudreauNominated
Satellite Awards[32]Best Motion PicturePending
Best Actor – Motion PictureRobert RedfordPending
Best Sound (Editing and Mixing)Brandon Proctor, Richard Hymns, Steve BoeddekerPending
Best Visual EffectsBrendon O'Dell, Collin Davies, Robert MunroePending
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association[33]Best ActorRobert RedfordNominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (February 9, 2012). "TOLDJA! Robert Redford To Star In J.C. Chandor’s ‘All Is Lost’; FilmNation On Sales: Berlin". Deadline.com. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ Lawless, Jill (24 May 2013). "JC Chandor gains a Cannes hit with 'All Is Lost'". Yahoo! News. Yahoo!. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "All Is Lost (2013) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ Wickman, Forrest (October 18, 2013). "All Is Lost. Or Is It?". The Slate Group. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Dowd, Maureen (October 9, 2013). "The Sun-Dried Kid: Robert Redford Goes to Sea in ‘All Is Lost’". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. 2. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (February 9, 2012). "Berlin 2012: Robert Redford Confirmed for J.C. Chandor's 'All Is Lost'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  7. ^ Jagernauth, Keith (January 17, 2013). "Robert Redford Says 'Margin Call' Director J.C. Chandor's 'All Is Lost' Is Dialogue Free". The Playlist (indieWire). Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ Savage, Sophia (August 7, 2012). "First Look at J.C. Chandor's 'All is Lost' with Robert Redford". indieWire. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ UK Screen, 30th May 2013 | Cannes Shows Redford Has Lost Nothing
  10. ^ Barker, Andrew (November 20, 2012). "Edward Sharpe’s Alex Ebert to score J.C. Chandor pic". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  11. ^ "ALL IS LOST Soundtrack by Alexander Ebert Released 10/1 Read more about ALL IS LOST Soundtrack by Alexander Ebert Released 10/1 - BWWMusicWorld by www.broadwayworld.com". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media. September 11, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Community Music Announces Release of All Is Lost". Community Music. September 10, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  13. ^ Rahman, Ray (September 12, 2013). "Hear Alexander Ebert's song 'Amen' from the Robert Redford 'All Is Lost' soundtrack". Entertainment Weekly. CNN. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  14. ^ "2013 Official Selection". festival-cannes.fr. Cannes Film Festival. April 21, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (February 9, 2012). "Lionsgate nabs Redford starrer 'All Is Lost'". Variety. 
  16. ^ McClintock, Pamela (February 12, 2012). "Berlin 2012: FilmNation sells Robert Redford starrer 'All Is Lost' to Universal". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  17. ^ "All Is Lost (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "All Is Lost Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Cannes: Robert Redford gets ovation for All Is Lost". BBC News. May 23, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Cannes Film Festival 2013 review: All Is Lost starring Robert Redford is almost dialogue-free, but exceptionally compelling nevertheless". The Independent. May 23, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Cannes 2013: All Is Lost – first look review". The Guardian. May 23, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Cannes Film Review: ‘All Is Lost’". Variety. May 23, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Cannes 2013: All Is Lost, review". The Telegraph. May 23, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  24. ^ "In All Is Lost, Robert Redford Won't Go Down Easily". The Village Voice. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  25. ^ Morgan, David (October 9, 2013). "NYFF review: Robert Redford in "All Is Lost"". CBS News. CBS. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  26. ^ Pulaski, Steve. "All is Lost". Influx Magazine. 
  27. ^ Long, Tom (December 9, 2013). "Detroit Film Critics Society nominates top films". The Detroit News. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  28. ^ Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna (October 24, 2013). "2013 Gotham Nominations, Led by '12 Years a Slave', 'Inside Llewyn Davis' and 'Upstream Color', Boost Spirits and Oscar Hopefuls". Thompson on Hollywood. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  29. ^ Johnson, Mark (November 26, 2013). "Independent Spirit Award Nominations Announced!". The Awards Circuit. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  30. ^ Sheehan, Paul (December 4, 2013). "'12 Years a Slave' came this close to winning New York Film Critics Circle". GoldDerby. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Pheonix Film Critics Society 2013 Award Nominations". Phoenix Film Critics Society. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  32. ^ Kilday, Gregg (December 2, 2013). "Satellite Awards: '12 Years a Slave' Leads Film Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  33. ^ "The 2013 WAFCA Awards". Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. December 9, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 

External links[edit]