Jessica Chastain on Robert Redford as Our Man in “All Is Lost”
Robert Redford acts without speaking. That is some sort of magic.
Mr. Redford has given many of my favorite performances in his over-50-year career. In “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “All the President’s Men,” “The Way We Were,” and so many others, he has entertained us while always stirring an emotion within us. He has helped shape this industry through his work and mastery, while at the same time supporting new artists. He is a film legend.
And yet, as I sat watching him play the sole character, Our Man in J.C. Chandor’s, “All Is Lost,” I forgot that this is Robert Redford. He is fully the character: a man lost at sea, willing to survive. I was struck by his physical and emotional endurance, but moreover, I was struck by his lack of dialogue. How does an actor bring us a complete character without dialogue? Mr. Redford is absolutely riveting in “All Is Lost.”
He brings us forward with his silence. Having to convey much of the story through body language, he gives himself freedom to express his emotions fully.
There’s a great immediacy in his acting. He’s not confined to the expected boundaries of cinema. He is an actor who exists only in the moment, an actor who is never self-conscious. We feel his character’s secrets, without knowing them completely. He goes straight to the feeling and his story hits you, like music. Like it has for over 50 years. That is magic.
(Chastain was nominated by the Academy for “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Help.”)