All is Lost


…By my count, “Grudge Match” and “Last Vegas” are the umpteenth stories for men, about men and by men in which men do something one last time and with the goal of making that last time epic. And always, in one way or another, these men yearn to stop time, at least for a moment.

…If these Arthurian quests tend to put a jokey face on the core mission — Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman (him again) are two guys living large and legendary while dying of cancer in “The Bucket List” — the implication is nevertheless tinged with pathos: Men crave one last victory before coming to terms with . . . well, something. Death, I guess. Or, if they’re not quite Eastwood’s age, perhaps they’re making peace with routine. Responsibility. Maturity. The old ball and chain that constitutes commitment. They’re hoping that maybe one phenomenally fun night of boozing, flirting, smashing things, driving fast, fighting, vomiting and slapping one another on the back will ease the pain of creaking knees, pouching gut, dimming memory and domestic servitude. Excelsior!

…Or something like that. I wouldn’t know. Because we women, we don’t play like that. I can’t think of one movie pitched to a female audience in which a gaggle of ladies or a pair of best gal pals go wild in an effort to recapture feelings of long-past girlish abandon…On-screen and in real life, women look to the future. We go for the forward-motion makeover, not the backward-glancing do-over.

…In the magnificent and haunting saga “All Is Lost,” Robert Redford(himself magnificent, haunting and, yes, aging) plays a character simply called Our Man, sailing the Indian Ocean on a solo voyage. We know next to nothing about him, nothing about why he is where he is, alone. What’s clear from every move he makes, though, is that a legendary journey is the last thing on his mind, and he does everything within his power to keep the trip from being his last. Fixed on the present, paying fierce attention to what needs to be done from moment to escalating moment of crisis, he is as intensely alive as a person can be.

The past is of no use in these rough waters, and the future is unthinkable. The situation isn’t, by definition, a gender-specific one, and yet I can think of a no more elemental and thrilling movie about manhood.

~ Lisa Schwarzbaum. See full article here: On Makeovers, Do-Overs and ‘The Hangover’, New York Times Magazine


  • Movie Trailer for “All is Lost” can be found here. (Haven’t seen the movie yet. Thoughts from anyone who has seen it?)
  • Photo credits for Image.


  1. the point we must all come to. is it our moment to live or our moment to surrender? fully be that moment.


  2. Nice post and blog.

    If there is any chance you like films from around the world from any period please check out my blog.


  3. Wonderful article. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Best wishes for a thoroughly enjoyable and successful New Year, David.


  4. Wonderful piece, and certainly makes one think. I do disagree with the author on one thing, when she can’t think of one movie about women’s last fling. Immediately, “Thelma and Louise” came to mind. I do see this as being an event that happens in many lives, of both genders.

    Thanks for sharing, and have a wonderful holiday.


    • Larry, thank you. Happy Holidays. The author actually references “Thelma and Louise.” Here’s the excerpt:

      “There are no regrets expressed either, by the way, between the pair of women who lend their names to the groundbreaking 1991 female buddy adventure “Thelma and Louise,” one of the most resonant femme-bonding dramas in modern movie history. Although each has known trauma, either past or present, the two friends — personified forever in audience memory in the glowing, sunburned, desert-dusted faces of Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon — head off on their road trip not to redo the past or even, at first, to make changes for the future. They simply want to ride along in the present, together, for a weekend: Thelma and Louise in an open car on the open road. When trouble starts to pile up, big time, they still never look back. Literally. They floor the gas pedal and zoom full speed ahead.”


  5. Goodness, this is so true.


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