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Film / All Is Lost

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"I'm sorry. I know that means little at this point, but I am. I tried. I think you would all agree that I tried. To be true, to be strong, to be kind, to love, to be right. But I wasn't. All is lost."
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All Is Lost is a 2013 film directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) and starring Robert Redford.

Redford plays a sailor at sea on his yacht, who must fight to survive when his boat is struck and badly damaged by a stray cargo container.

And that's pretty much the whole plot.


Tropes:

  • Atomic F-Bomb: One of the times Redford talks is to let one of these out, when he discovers his drinking water is contaminated by salt water.
  • Bottle Episode: Literally only one actor and almost no dialogue.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Subverted. When trying to signal a ship with flares, he's shown to leave exactly one flare for later. Then at the end when he sees a light in the distance, he goes for the flare... then changes his mind and instead sets the entire raft on fire.
  • Chromosome Casting: By definition, seeing as there's only one character in the entire film.
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  • Determinator: The man just does not give up. At least until the end.
  • Deus ex Machina: The boat saving him.
  • Excuse Plot: The script was 31 pages long, and the director stated it's more about the adventure than anything else.
  • Fight to Survive: The whole plot is the man struggling to survive after his yacht is damaged.
  • Heroic BSoD: The last third could be seen as one long BSOD.
  • High Concept: A man fights for survival after his boat is damaged.
  • Hope Spot: Several, including the radio and the first cargo ship.
  • In Medias Res: The opening monologue and ending take place eight days after the movie begins.
  • Lost at Sea: And struggling to survive.
  • Message in a Bottle: The man sends one when he thinks he's going to die. The message is the monologue that opens the film.
  • Minimalism: There's a man on a boat. We don't know who he is, where he's from, why he's on a boat or if he has any friends or family. All we know is that he has to survive.
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  • Minimalist Cast: Taken as far as the trope can go: Redford is the only actor in the movie.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The man finally loses his raft and very nearly drowns, but at the last minute he is rescued by a small boat.
  • No Antagonist: The man has to fight with the forces of nature. There's no personal antagonist.
  • No Ending: The film doesn't really have a definite ending. The man is saved by a passing boat and it's unclear whether the boat is real, a Dying Dream or Divine Intervention. And due to Chandor and Redford's respective Shrug of God, many interpretations of the ending exist, each one equally plausible.
  • No Name Given: Redford's character is listed in the credits as "Our Man".
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The quiet nature of the film gives a somewhat unsettling feel to it all.
  • Silence Is Golden: There is virtually no dialogue in the film, except for the opening monologue that provides part of the page quote, a few abortive attempts at calling for help, and an Atomic F-Bomb.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The movie is somewhat in the middle about this, but what happens to the man at the end depends on where the viewers lie on the spectrum.
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