No awards for All Is Lost, thankfully

Published on January 16th, 2014

In the 2000 movie Cast Away, Tom Hanks’ character was stranded alone on a deserted island for more than four years. This translated to just over half of the 143 minute movie. It seemed like a lot at the time, but Robert Redford set a new benchmark for his solo movie performance in All Is Lost which opened October 18, 2013.

Redford was the only cast member. The film, for 106 minutes, has almost no dialogue.

At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where the film premiered in May, Redford’s performance generated early Oscar buzz. The reviews were positive…

“Utterly compelling viewing” – Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent

“Redford delivers a tour de force performance: holding the screen effortlessly with no acting support whatsoever”- Andrew Pulver, Guardian

“(Redford’s performance) holds the viewer’s attention merely by wincing, scowling, troubleshooting and yelling the occasional expletive” – Justin Chang, Variety

But then the sailing public saw the movie. And laughed! The review by Charles Doane of SAIL magazine echoed popular sentiments…

“If you’re a sailor, you spend the whole film scratching your head, wondering what the hell is going on.”

“What I saw was a man who looked confused, aggravated, and worried for over an hour and a half. I had exactly the same expression on my face the entire time.”

“The sea is absolutely flat calm, not a breath of wind … and (the boat) is struck amidships by a floating container… hard enough that it knocks a huge hole in the boat right where his nav station is. How could this possibly have happened? Was the container self-propelled?”

And now that it’s award season, we see the movie industry chose wisely to let this film gracefully sink. The Oscar nominations (for the best) have omitted it, as have the Razzie nominations (for the worst). The past brilliance of Robert Redford gave this film its early prospects, and out of respect to the actor, the industry chose not to embarrass him further.

The best thing about All is Lost is that it helped us forget about the 1992 movie WIND.” Amen!

UPDATE: Robert Redford slams film distributors after Oscar snub

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