Home Uncategorized Robert Redford Silent Movie Surprise Hit of Cannes

The surprise hit of Cannes? Robert Redford is so terrific in a “silent” film here that he could easily win the Best Actor award. “All Is Lost” is directed by JC Chandor. There is no dialogue. Redford plays a man who’s been sailing a modest sailboat through what we learn is the Indian Ocean. When the film begins he awakens to find he’s drifted into no man’s land, and his boat has a gaping hole. Water is pouring in.

What takes place next may sound not so interesting. But the film is eloquent, poetic and full of action. The action– plus the stunts, all done by Redford, 76– makes “All Is Lost’ far from boring. It might be the most exciting action film of the year.

I fell in love with this movie this morning as did most reviewers. From the start you know it’s good– and that serious, tragic things are happening to the man played by Redford. He has no name. You just know that he’s a proficient sailor in very good shape, athletic, and quick to come up with solutions. He isn’t “McGyver” though. This is a story of man against relentless nature.

What is his backstory? My guess is that our Man lost his wife, retired and his named his boat after his Virginia Jean. He’s a loner. He may have been a fireman or a cop. He isn’t wealthy. I think he sold his house and bought this boat, but he’s been sailing all his life.

Chandor does a masterful job putting one obstacle after another in front of Redford. I’m sure there’s a lot of skillful editing. But actor and director work together to make magic. It’s a total surpise. For weeks everyone thought this would be “Cast Away” without Wilson the soccer ball. Instead, it’s a meditation and an instruction in living. Redford is superb, and is headed possibly to a Best Actor nomination (if not win) from many awards groups including the Academy. Chandor deserves many kudos.

UPDATE: The movie and Redford got enormous cheers and lots of applause. a real 10 minute standing ovation in the Palais last night. Leonardo DiCaprio’s mother, sitting behind me, loved it. The party afterward, on a moored for rent boat in the marina, was kind of a bust– no food and the usual rude publicists. But that didn’t detract from the movie’s success.



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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
16 replies to this post
  1. Vexious probably has no idea about whatever he conjures up about the “last century” or he wouldn’t so readily dismiss Redford’s skills which he continues to display year after year ; last year’s Civil War movie “The Conspirator” for example …which was made in this century by the by..

  2. It’s a pity actors are held in such high esteem when they do nothing but memorize lines and move around a stage pretending to be someone else who HAS lived a full and useful life. Redford and his ilk would be better off, as we would be, if they’d make their movies, go home and pull the rock back down on top of them and leave their uneducated political opinions to themselves.

  3. The movie sounds great. Too bad Mr. Friedman had to embarrass himself at the end of the review by telling us the Leonard DiCaprio’s mother loved it. Huh? Who gives a $^#&?!

  4. Maybe “Bob” will send all of his profits from the movie to Mumia Abu-Jamal, the radical Black Panther Party member and convicted cop killer who Redford supports. When you spend your money at the movies you should know what your money is going to support.

  5. Oh if Leonardos mom liked it well that just says it all… let me throw on some tights and head on down to stand in line for this one….

  6. This is such a small thing to glean from the article about this film (which I can’t wait to see..GO BOB!!), BUT, why was there “no food” at the after party on the marina rental boat? Seems odd. Friedman must have meant no food besides small appetizers, right?

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