Truth: All is Lost is the kind of movie that if it hits you, it REALLY hits you. I suspect that it could depend on how much living you’ve done. Either way, Thomson writes this about All is Lost, and Robert Redford: All Is Lost will not open until October 18th, so this is less a review than a warning. Very soon, such archaic distinctions will collapse, along with the projection of celluloid and the poetry of dissolves. So I won’t say more (or much more) except that All Is Lost is amazing, deeply moving, and a harking back to an age when the best mainstream films might be the best pictures America made. It is an adventure and an epic with one person. I am warning you that it may win Best Picture, and that its one person, Robert Redford, deserves what has never come to him before, an Oscar for best actor. He plays a man sailing a yacht single-handed 1,700 nautical miles from Sumatra. He is broken out of sleep one morning; there is water slapping around in his cabin. His yacht has been hit by a rogue container, a sinister rust-red oblong, a hideous moribund Moby, loaded with running shoes that are now leaking into the still Indian Ocean. (How many of these beasts lurk in the oceans?) Far worse, the container has put a wound in the side of the yacht. If ever the sea gives up its stillness, the boat will flood. The sailor’s radio has been destroyed. His cell phone is waterlogged. He says nothing, but he knows the peril. Of Redford, Thomson writes: And because he is Robert Redford, he is seventy-six in the film, which is too old and aching for the buffeting of storms. Moreover, this is an old man, denied any of the photographic kindnesses that have made some of Redford’s films too fussy. We never know why this man is far south in the Indian Ocean and 1,700 miles from the closest shore. Is he part of a race? Or is this just an old man’s love of solitude and sailing? We don’t know his personal situation or his family ties. We never learn his name. In the credits he is simply “Our Man.” That is one of many strokes of wisdom in a film directed and written by J.C. Chandor. Thomson closes it this way: I’m warning you. This is greatness, beautiful but unsettling—as witness the daylight moment when a vast, fully loaded container vessel hurries past him like a ghost ship, never hearing his calls or knowing of his existence. At moments like that All Is Lost becomes a metaphor for brave spirits in a crushingly organized life. You will be as drained when you see it as you have ever been at a movie. I’m not sure that desperate action has ever been as fully conveyed. It could be a commercial hit, but one that leaves us puzzling over what that title means—as if it were Hiroshima mon amour or The Best Years of Our Lives. Just when one worries whether a large, crowd-pleasing American film can still contain resonant ideas, here comes such a thing. Kind of interesting he thinks of All is Lost as a “large, crowd-pleasing American film.” All of the ways I would have described All is Lost that wouldn’t be one of them. But hey, it’s all good.