A man sleeps peacefully aboard his small yacht when it suddenly bangs into some sea debris, tearing a hole in the side. This begins a great survival story where one problems piles upon another as he is tossed across the Indian Ocean toward shipping lanes and possible rescue. But he must first face storms, sharks, and other menaces. And even when he reaches the shipping lanes, will anyone see him?
Robert Redford gives a dynamic, riveting performance as the man fighting for his life in this 2013 film written and directed by J. C. Chandor. With virtually no dialogue, the viewer is constantly engaged with the action, watching Redford’s eyes to see what he is feeling, trying to figure out from his actions what he is trying to accomplish in all of the little tasks that he takes on to try to survive. It creates an inner dialogue that glues the viewer to the story, caught up in this extremely honest, thrilling film.
The cinematography by Frank G. DeMarco is extraordinary, catching all the moods of the sea and the storm. The music, by Alex Ebert, is restrained, working within the overall sound created by Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns of wind, waves, thunder, rain, grunting, and gasping.
Although the movie won various awards worldwide, it was seriously snubbed by the Academy Awards, though I can’t figure out why. Clearly, it is one of the best movies of 2013, with a brilliant, gut-wrenching performance by Robert Redford, skillful directing, terrific special effects, great sound, and a story that is completely engaging from beginning to end.
This is a great movie that should be seen by everyone!