"All Is Lost"
Music By Alexander Ebert
"Amen" Sung and Performed by
11 Tracks/Disc Time: 45:11
(DISAPPOINTING SCORE OF 2013)
"All Is Lost" easily has to be one of the most intriguing projects of the year that stars Oscar Winning Actor/Director Robert Redford in one of his most memorable performances since the film is virtually a one person play. Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man (Redford) wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner's intuition and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face. The film was written and directed by J.C. Chandor, who made a sensational debut with the thrilling drama "Margin Call", that earned him a well deserved Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay and with this one it really further cements him as a young filmmaker to really keep an eye on for bigger and better projects.
For a film whose script (a whopping 32 pages all told with barely any dialog) is very sparse and relies heavily on its' visuals, music really plays an important part to this equation. Candor relied on the talents of composer Nathan Larson to create the moody world of "Margin Call" that was very effective and had a bit of a harshness to it that propelled the story to its' fitting conclusion. For this film, the talents of Alexander Ebert were called upon to be the sole musical driving for for Robert Redford's lonesome man battling the elements for pure survival.
Unfortunately, the results for me on this score were not one of a great experience musically on every level. Granted I can understand the tone of the score and its' direction because of the film itself. However, there should've been some element as to having a melodic, atmospheric score not like the one presented here which really was a tedious listen. It tries too hard to emulate the great Ennio Morricone with its' emphasis on solo voice and style and in fact, Morricone was the only one who could really score a film like this in all honesty. I tried very hard to be objective with this score and the task was just too great to bear. I really tried to get into this score with as many as three listens and it did not do a single thing for me. I think it honestly got worse as it went along and that's a shame because I was really curious to see what this score sounded like and in particular because of the film itself and Redford's performance. Even Ebert's vocal for "Amen" which is alot better than the score itself was a bit of a wasted exercise.
The album comes in a handsome digipak package that is all fine and well produced, but what good is it when the music is disappointing as this is. I honestly hoped that Nathan Larson would team up with Candor again and probably would've written a much more interesting score than the one we have here. Man this was a rough experience all around and I tried my best to think of something positive to say about it but when all you can think of is Robert Redford, Director of Photography Frank G. DeMarco and J.C. Candor's direction, there really isn't much there. As I was writing this review, I was really shocked to find out that it got an Golden Globe Nomination for Best Original Score. Has the state of music gone that low to nominate this over other viable candidates? Oh I forgot it's the Golden Globes not the Oscars, then we would've been looking for a major catastrophe. Thumbs way, way, way down.