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NEW YORK—There is a moment in “All Is Lost” when Robert Redford, playing a veteran sailor whose solo ocean voyage runs into all kinds of trouble, struggles to put on raingear during a mammoth storm. The tiny boat lurches. Redford is knocked off his feet, and in one of the few times that he utters so much as a sound during this ultra-minimalist, 107-minute film (opening Friday), he lets his sturdy jaw give in to a slight smile, brightens his eyes, and exhales a bemused, half-formed “huh.”
For the character, known only as Our Man, the moment is a reminder that the sea is in charge. For viewers, it’s a reminder of every Redford performance that has come before.