All Is Lost ★★★★★

Today I decided to re-visit J.C. Chandor's All is Lost. I wanted to experience the magic of this film from the perspective of someone who had already seen it once, and I'm so glad that I made that decision. It jumped to the spot of my second favorite film of 2013, and I haven't had tears in my eyes throughout an entire film like that since the viewings of some of my very favorite films.

This film is a spiritual quest, a tale of perseverance against the impossibilities of our world, and a brilliant allegory of the financial/economic struggles that the common man has in an industrialized society (look for the subtle symbolism). I personally think that it is a nearly flawless masterwork. The only ever-so-slight problem that I have with it was in some of the CGI work, but I have no trouble looking past that, as I don't really mind that sort of thing; I'd rather CGI in films be imperfect and used sparingly/in the right context than perfect but misused.

I also think it's a real shame that Robert Redford didn't receive much recognition for his performance in this film, which, in my opinion, may be the best male performance of its respective year, right up there with Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance in 12 Years a Slave. It may be because of his skin tone, or his mannerisms, or the way he clenches his jaw when he's frustrated, but for an hour and a half, Redford managed to transport me to a place where I felt much closer to the spirit of my deceased father, something that I can't thank him enough for.

And to top it all off, Alex Ebert's score is a towering piece of art in itself, and by far my favorite musical composition of last year. I think I may have had a slight heart attack when I heard his name being called at The Golden Globes. Anyway, I know that some people aren't as fond of this film as I am, but I truly believe that it's one of the best films to come out in years, from the cinematography to the acting to the direction to the score - everything worked for me and touched a place deep in my heart.

It's not a film that I am going to be able to watch very often, but it's a fine piece of cinema that I am going to cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you, Mr. Chandor. Thank you, Mr. Redford. And thank you to everyone else that was involved in this production.

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