All Is Lost

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(2013) ★★★★

Sky Movies Select: Tuesday 26 May, 9pm

Solo yachtsman Robert Redford is in serious difficulties after a collision with a cargo ship container in the Indian Ocean. Where it never rains, but it pours. The weathered Redford wears his 77 years well in an old man and the sea tale worthy of Ernest Hemingway at his most taciturn. Bearing some striking similarities with Tom Hanks’ Cast Away, J.C. Chandor’s elemental movie – show, don’t tell – would also make a fascinating double-bill with its geographical (if not technological) opposite, Gravity. The horizons are distant but the sense of mortal danger is up close and personal. And there’s no showboating – the grace under pressure displayed by Redford’s ancient mariner is movingly understated. So is the music, mostly, which is a blessing. All the while, Chandor remains focused on the fundamentals. It’s only his second feature as writer-director. His first was Margin Call. As for Redford, from All the President’s Men (Sky Movies Select, Friday, 1.30pm) to All is Lost, that’s some screen legacy.

Certificate: 12
Duration: 106min