Sunday, November 24, 2013

Movie Review—All Is Lost

My dad always had a low opinion of amusement park rides. He is fond of saying things like, "Why would I pay to ride around on a roller coaster when I can go out on the ocean and do it for real?" I've been out on the ocean on pretty rough days—not as rough as some of the days he's seen, but rough enough to get what he's talking about. With a roller coaster, the thrills are manufactured, and there's the notion that as frightening as they might be, they're designed to thrill and not hurt. The ocean doesn't have that psychological safety net. It doesn't want to kill you or save you or hurt you. It just is what it is, and when humans get in its path, they must respect it or they will suffer. And even respect isn't always enough.

All Is Lost gets this idea across better than any movie I've seen. This movie is already something of a miracle and a wonder, in that it's got barely any dialogue in it, because it's only got one actor in the entire thing. The movie starts with Robert Redford's character waking on his sailboat somewhere in the Indian Ocean with water rushing into his cabin–his boat struck a container that fell off a ship, and now there's a hole at the waterline. The captain doesn't panic or freak out—he knows that won't solve the problem. He just goes to work, doing his best to fix the situation. A situation that spirals out of control despite the fact that he increasingly does every thing he can do to survive.

Because the ocean doesn't care if you survive or not.
Believe it or not... it gets worse.

All Is Lost ...
  • ... brought back memories of the smell of fiberglass resin.
  • ... is PG-13 pretty much entirely for one of the most despair-fueled uses of the f-bomb I've seen.
  • ... confirms my suspicions of how harrowing it would be to be in a storm in a sailboat where the swells are bigger than your boat.
  • ... is one of the best movies of 2013.
Grade: A+

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