Bufs Preview: All is lost

The film premiered out of competition at Cannes, and also played this year’s Toronto International Film Festival to much praise—and with no shortage of Oscar buzz for its sole star, Robert Redford.

Redford plays Our Man, the nameless, lone sailor in a yacht called the Virginia Jean that meets with a minor catastrophe in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The chances of the accident are so marginal that the sailor should rail against his terrible luck or shake his fist at cruel fate. But instead, after a brief moment of disbelief, Our Man sets about resolving the crisis and curbing the damage as best as he can.

He is skilled and resourceful, but as indifferent Nature begins to pile on the challenges, he makes a few critical mistakes. Through it all, he stays calm, worried, and desperate to solve his problems, surely, but steadfast and measured in his thinking and decision-making. His will to survive gives him the fortitude to do whatever he can to improve his chances. But his chances get slimmer by the minute.

Writer-director J. C. Candor burst onto the scene in 2011 with the sharp financial thriller Margin Call, for which he won several awards and nominations including one in the best original screenplay category at the Academy Awards. In his latest film, he has all but abandoned dialogue, instead allowing performance, spectacle, and metaphor to take centre stage. 77-year-old Redford rises to the challenge, of giving the performance of his career.

All Is Lost screens Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Landmark Theatres, Pen Centre. Visit brocku.ca/bufs for details.

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