Thursday, January 30, 2014

All Is Lost by J C Chandor

I am not sure what to write about this film.  I'll begin by saying that I am happy to live in a world in which such films are produced.

As the quote goes, great art is when everything unessential has been chipped away. When what remains is the pure essence of what is to be conveyed. In a film, it means not a superfluous sight, sound or word. Only that which serves the art. As in Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011) Not even the name of the protagonist is needed.

I am not sure how the idea of this film came about, and what must have convinced Robert Redford, at 77, to take this role. But he did, and his depiction is nothing short of outstanding. Showing restraint, grace, hope, defiance, grit as well as resignation and despair, all in silence and without at any moment overdoing it - this is method acting at its finest. This is one of the greatest performances of our times.

See this film, and if possible, in silence and without distraction. It is a journey which might have a message, but the message is, in the final analysis, unimportant. What, I believe, is important is the reflection on resilience, science and mortality that this film might provoke.

It is natural to compare this film with another recent highly acclaimed film about survival. That too is almost silent. I am of course referring to Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013). Both films can be said to be about solitude and resilience. Gravity too is an outstanding film, but I consider it more a superlative spectacle about space.

This film, on the other hand, is a film about humanity.

This is only the second feature by director J C Chandor. I look forward to his third film, due to release this year: A Most Violent Year (2014).

2 comments:

yaniv cohen said...

I will watch it on your recommendation. Is a heated discussion over a round of tea in our future?

yaniv cohen said...

I will watch it on your recommendation. Is a heated discussion over a round of tea in our future?