All Is Lost ★★★★½

What can be more powerful and reaffirming of everything that is life than seeing a man as he struggles to stay alive, fighting with everything that he's got against dark thoughts that threaten to overtake him and having his will put to test? In these moments of fear, helplessness and despair one looks back at his life to see if he is pleased with what he did up to this point, if he is proud of what he leaves behind, if he has any regrets, if he would do things differently. He comes to question the life he has been living, wasting it instead of making the most out of it.

Robert Redford plays this man. We never get to know his name but we don't need to. This man could be me, it could be you, it could be anyone. Through his performance Redford makes his character eternal, when you look at his face you see a man filled with regret, a man who is afraid of dying but who doesn't believe he deserves a second chance.

Coming out around the same time as Gravity and Life of Pi, obvious comparisons are to be drawn, but All Is Lost manages to separate itself and be its own thing. With a bold approach (one actor, almost no dialogue), subtle direction, beautiful cinematography and a towering performance from Redford, this moving survival tale has earned its place among the best of its ilk.

I have to mention the last shot of the movie, a moment so powerful that it gave me goosebumps. Cinema at its best.

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