Going strong at 77 All is Lost (12A, general release, 106 minutes) Director: J.C. Chandor. Stars: Robert Redford. 4 STARS
In J.C. Chandor's daringly simple follow-up to his labyrinthine 2011 financial thriller Margin Call, human existence is stripped back to the bone. A careworn Robert Redford plays the unnamed lead character -- in fact the only character -- an American yachtsman who comes face to face with his own mortality in the yawning depths of the Indian Ocean. At the start, the clearly desperate sailor apologises to his family for having failed them, though we never find out how. But we do drift back eight days in time to find out what went wrong.
The sailor is nodding snugly in his cabin when he wakes to find water is flooding in through a hole in the hull. The flood knocked out the electrics, so all he has to guide him back to civilisation is the stars, a map and a sextant. Redford at 77 years of age is extraordinary in a demanding role, and somehow lets you know what he's thinking though he scarcely says a word.