Monday, December 16, 2013

The Man in the Boat

Usually I think of that as an anatomical term.  But today I refer, of course, to Bob Redford's mute turn as "Our Man" in "All is Lost."

[Minor spoilers ahead]

Call me a hater, but I was less excited than most of the reviewers.  Not to say the movie's bad, but I'm not checking off my best actor slot for the Sundance Kid.

That said, certainly much credit is due.  What an unusual movie.  Showed quite a bit of courage to produce and direct, as well as to act in.  But I'm not sure how much acting was actually involved.  It seemed a lot more like doing than acting.  Trim the sail.  Fix the hole.  Hoist the storm jib.

And speaking of the storm jib:  Okay, you're in the middle of the Indian Ocean, or wherever.  You can see a storm heading your way.  It looks big, but you've got a couple of hours to prepare.  So what competent sailer doesn't get the storm jib out of storage and ready to deploy ahead of time?

Note:  A storm jib is a small sail designed to give the boat just enough sail power to maneuver, but not enough wind resistance to potentially damage the rigging the way a larger, standard sail might in really heavy weather.

So that bugged me.

Also, it's raining like this ...

... for significant parts of the movie.  Yet every time he goes down into the cabin for something, when he comes back out he leaves the hatch wide open.  I wanted to scream "Close the fucking hatch!"  The whole idea being that the inside of a boat should not be filled with water.  The water is supposed to remain on the outside.  This becomes important later.

Finally, I didn't like the Sopranos-lite gimmick ending.

Closing thought:  Robert Redford is both a good guy (by general consensus) and has been a force for excellence in movies for most of his career.  So he'll probably get the Best Actor award as a nod to that, not necessarily for the finest acting job of the year.

Letter Grade?????      B+


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