All Is Lost: a review and why I recommend seeing this movie.

blackjenner

Super Anarchist
All Is Lost, a film starring Robert Redford, where he utters only one line on screen, is well worth seeing. Though I had seen some sailors complaining about the movie on various fronts, I decided to see it anyway.

Why? Sailors are a curious bunch. Some have little experience, some have crossed oceans, some just happen to own boats that never really leave the marina. In that spectrum of being a sailor, there is one thing they seem to have in common. They all have an opinion. Be it about anchors, anchoring, dinghy selection (how to spell dinghy), what sails to use, whether to use a drouge in heavy weather, how far to travel off shore when heading south along the pacific coast; it's a continuum of surety in opinions sometime informed and sometimes not.

Translated, this means that ten sailors, when faced with a hypothetical situation, will argue for ten different solutions to that problem. When faced with the story of another sailor, they will frequently proclaim from on high that their solution is the only one and the other sailors solutions are borne out of ignorance. It's a combination of the fact that there is often not one "right way" to solve a problem and the propensity for sailors to engage in intellectual dick sizing.

Such is the case with the sailor (we never know his name in the movie) in All Is Lost.

There are also criticisms of the movie too, for continuity and other reasons.

Let's just leave aside the fact that bashing one of the most decent and realistic sailing movies, even though it has flaws, doesn't exactly support the common complaint of, "why don't we see more good sailing movies? They all suck!"

This movie does not suck.

All Is Lost gives us a pretty realistic portrayal of a sailor facing his death at sea.

Is the sailor perfect? Does he always make the right decisions? Is he equipped and practiced enough for the voyage he is currently undertaking?

That decision being; sailing alone, crossing oceans, with times when no one is on watch.

He is not perfect and neither are all his decisions.

We don't know why he is out there in a sailboat that looks quite worn and underequipped.

The movie starts off with a calamity that could have been wholly prevented, were someone on watch.

From there we see him quietly, sometimes grimly, just deal each problem as it presents itself.

There is damage to the boat, equipment failures, tactical decisions, injuries, some plain blind luck, and rotten luck.

Then again, luck isn't something that just happens to us. It's the product of our experience, preparedness and mindset. If we are lacking in some or all of those things, we have bad luck.

The sailor has bad luck.

Sometimes he is capable. He makes decisions I would make. At other times, I'm not so sure I would take his course of action. At other times, it's something I clearly would not do. Then again, I have not been out there. Since he is in the middle of the Indian Ocean, he got there so, he's seen and done things that I have not.

The sailor's bad luck doesn't make the movie bad. It turns it into a classroom, with lessons piled upon lessons, some of them brutal and direct, some of them subtle and hidden. It will take more than one watching to get them all.

Is the movie without continuity errors? No. Is it the perfect example of a prepared and experienced offshore sailor, facing the ocean with a high level of competence, serving as a perfect example to the public of how we wish to be seen? No.

And that is not a bad thing.

One can pick at the movie. One can even pick at Redford for his perceived liberalism (yes, some have done so already but that has nothing to do with a man lost at sea).

One thing that is true is that we are watching a man at sea, one who is where most of us will never go, dealing with each turn against him with a quiet determination that most of us would be lucky to demonstrate were we in his situation.

Robert Redford is perfect in this role.

And the lessons...the lessons. That is why it's worth watching.

 

nuttin honey

Member
127
1
R u nuts. This is the worst piece of crap I have ever seen. At least the movie "silent Movie" which had only one word also was funny. And who the hell was their sailing consultant. I am sure all of you guys would have climbed a mast and used a crescent wrench to tighten a VHF coax. And every boat that does a complete roll over without hatch boards is going to come up without a cabin full of water. I only wish I had my sailing knife with serrated blade so I could have slit my wrist before it ended. Only thing missing was some heart pounding music from jaws.

 

ryley

Super Anarchist
5,501
656
Boston, MA
R u nuts. This is the worst piece of crap I have ever seen. At least the movie "silent Movie" which had only one word also was funny. And who the hell was their sailing consultant. I am sure all of you guys would have climbed a mast and used a crescent wrench to tighten a VHF coax. And every boat that does a complete roll over without hatch boards is going to come up without a cabin full of water. I only wish I had my sailing knife with serrated blade so I could have slit my wrist before it ended. Only thing missing was some heart pounding music from jaws.
You should always carry your knife.

Please.

 

Spin Echo

Anarchist
654
2
Any movie about sailing is good! Sadly at least here in the us the populace would rather watch some dumbass vampire movies. As soon as I finish winterizing gonna go see it. Haters never sleep.

 

NoStrings

Super Anarchist
8,088
6
Richmond, CA
What calamity are you talking about...hitting the container? If you think having someone on watch makes hitting a container less likely, might I suggest you Google "Moquini". Damn near every boat in this years Transpac impacted or observed significant debris, and they all had someone "on watch". The simple fact is, when you're blasting across the ocean at night, your fate is up to nothing more than a roll of the dice. There is stuff floating around out there that will take you down in minutes.

 
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jonno

Member
200
0
asia
Saw it last Friday and would give a nod of acknowledgement to most of the OP's comments. It's not exactly entertaining and the despair is quite excruciating at times (a bit like reading McCarthy's The Road). The only moment that made me smile was when he pulled the sextant out of its box, clearly for the first time ever, looking totally bemused as he removed the bubble wrap with An Introduction to Celestial Navigation on his lap. So true for so many of us. Worth watching.

 

Chet

Member
418
0
What calamity are you talking about...hitting the container? If you think having someone on watch makes hitting a container less likely, might I suggest you Google "Moquini". Damn near every boat in this years Transpac impacted or observed significant debris, and they all had someone "on watch". The simple fact is, when you're blasting across the ocean at night, your fate is up to nothing more than a roll of the dice. There is stuff floating around out there that will take you down in minutes.
My sister sailed with me on a double handed passage from Boston to Bermuda in the 80's. She was steering as we passed a huge tree awash in the gulf stream, probably 8 ft in diameter and 100 ft long. Her comment...I'm glad there's nothing like that out here at night.

aa

 

Chet

Member
418
0
"What calamity are you talking about...hitting the container? If you think having someone on watch makes hitting a container less likely, might I suggest you Google "Moquini". Damn near every boat in this years Transpac impacted or observed significant debris, and they all had someone "on watch". The simple fact is, when you're blasting across the ocean at night, your fate is up to nothing more than a roll of the dice. There is stuff floating around out there that will take you down in minutes."

My sister sailed with me on a double handed passage from Boston to Bermuda in the '80's. As we sailed by a huge tree awash in the Atlantic, maybe 8 ft diameter and 100 ft long. Here comment...I'm glad there's nothing like that out here at night.

aa

 

blackjenner

Super Anarchist
What calamity are you talking about...hitting the container? If you think having someone on watch makes hitting a container less likely, might I suggest you Google "Moquini". Damn near every boat in this years Transpac impacted or observed significant debris, and they all had someone "on watch". The simple fact is, when you're blasting across the ocean at night, your fate is up to nothing more than a roll of the dice. There is stuff floating around out there that will take you down in minutes.
OK, I had to double check the ordering of comments to see if you were responding to my review. I'm not interested in a debate where someone changes the facts from day to night but I will point this out.

My comments about the incident with the shipping container being avoidable were based on the following:

1) it was broad daylight -- the lighting in that scene strongly suggested it was almost high noon.

2) The seas were pretty close to calm (let's leave the discussion of the damage out of it for now).

3) The red colored container was almost 35-40% out of the water.

It is highly likely that, in daylight, at that speed, in those conditions, in that totality of circumstances, that a watch would have avoided that container.

 

born2sail

Super Anarchist
What calamity are you talking about...hitting the container? If you think having someone on watch makes hitting a container less likely, might I suggest you Google "Moquini". Damn near every boat in this years Transpac impacted or observed significant debris, and they all had someone "on watch". The simple fact is, when you're blasting across the ocean at night, your fate is up to nothing more than a roll of the dice. There is stuff floating around out there that will take you down in minutes.
OK, I had to double check the ordering of comments to see if you were responding to my review. I'm not interested in a debate where someone changes the facts from day to night but I will point this out.

My comments about the incident with the shipping container being avoidable were based on the following:

1) it was broad daylight -- the lighting in that scene strongly suggested it was almost high noon.

2) The seas were pretty close to calm (let's leave the discussion of the damage out of it for now).

3) The red colored container was almost 35-40% out of the water.

It is highly likely that, in daylight, at that speed, in those conditions, in that totality of circumstances, that a watch would have avoided that container.
If you recall, the skipper was down below and awakened to water entering the cabin thru the hole in the hull. This is not a spoiler alert. This fact was shown in the trailer.

 

AYACHT

Super Anarchist
1,264
0
HILLSMERE
What calamity are you talking about...hitting the container? If you think having someone on watch makes hitting a container less likely, might I suggest you Google "Moquini". Damn near every boat in this years Transpac impacted or observed significant debris, and they all had someone "on watch". The simple fact is, when you're blasting across the ocean at night, your fate is up to nothing more than a roll of the dice. There is stuff floating around out there that will take you down in minutes.
My sister sailed with me on a double handed passage from Boston to Bermuda in the 80's. She was steering as we passed a huge tree awash in the gulf stream, probably 8 ft in diameter and 100 ft long. Her comment...I'm glad there's nothing like that out here at night.

aa
Can I get your sisters phone number?

 

Polaris

Super Anarchist
4,558
0
Keep in mind that the money (Liberal piece of shit) Redford makes on this movie goes to his good friend Barry Obama's war chest.

 
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