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'All Is Lost' steers Redford into Oscar contention


Just you and Robert Redford. On a boat. With no one around for miles.

Watching “All Is Lost” is like living out the fantasy pretty much every heterosexual woman has had at some point during the past five decades.

An unnamed yachtsman (Redford) wakes to find a hole in his 39-foot boat after a collision with a shipping container.

Water is up to his thighs. The navigation and communication systems are ruined. And he’s quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Things only go downhill from there.

“All Is Lost” finally opened here Friday after a last-minute, two-week delay. Back then, grown-ups were too busy seeing “Gravity” and “Captain Phillips.” And, let’s face it, teens and 20-somethings aren’t exactly clamoring to see what, if it hadn’t been for Hemingway, could have been called “The Old Man and the Sea.”

As it turns out, giving the movie a little distance from those two hits was the right call.

Utterly alone on a damaged vessel, forced to rely on his wits to survive while burning through the rations that are keeping him alive, “All Is Lost” is essentially an Earth-bound “Gravity” with Redford in the Sandra Bullock role. There’s even a cameo from a Maersk container ship a la “Captain Phillips.”

Unlike those two, though, “All Is Lost” is a decidedly minimalist affair. Redford makes up the entire cast. Aside from a brief voice-over in the beginning, he utters roughly 45 words. And all but one, a well-timed expletive, are part of distress calls.

Still, what he does for the rest of his wall-to-wall screen time has him in the mix for his first Oscar nomination as an actor since 1973’s “The Sting.”

Live from downtown: Following the season finale of “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown,” the celebrity chef will host a live, one-hour retrospective from Atomic Liquors, 917 Fremont St. Airing at 7 p.m. Sunday on CNN, the special will feature Bourdain talking about everything from food sustainability to gun use with chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Roy Choi, actor Wendell Pierce, comedian Bonnie McFarlane and CNN anchor Don Lemon.

Get ‘Naked’: To celebrate its appearance on the body-painting series “Naked Vegas” (10 p.m. Tuesday, Syfy), the Golden Gate, 1 Fremont St., is hosting a viewing party beginning at 8 p.m. before an early 9 p.m. screening. Throughout the evening, the hotel’s bikini bartenders will serve specialty drinks inspired by the episode.

Special screening: Before all the baggage, Tom Cruise was just some guy having sex with Rebecca De Mornay on a train. Relive the good old days by seeing a digitally restored version of “Risky Business” at 2 p.m. Sunday and 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday at Sam’s Town, Santa Fe, South Point and Suncoast.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@ reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567.