The year's best movie has landed in Utah which happens to be home to the movie's star.
That movie is "All Is Lost," and that star is Robert Redford. The Sundance Kid not only stars but is the only human seen for the entire 107 minutes, as a lone sailor trying to survive when his sailboat is damaged and he encounters rough seas without satellite communication. Writer-director J.C. Chandor makes the bold choice of not relying on backstory, dialogue or other characters and trusting Redford's acting skill and decades of audience goodwill to carry him through. He does, splendidly, giving the performance of a lifetime.
"The Counselor" is a strange beast of a crime drama, the first produced screenplay by novelist Cormac McCarthy, and the characters and their florid dialogue will have a familiar ring to McCarthy's readers. The story follows an unnamed lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who gets involved in a drug deal with a Mexican cartel, and must face the consequences when the shipment goes missing. The cast which includes Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt enjoys biting into McCarthy's words, and director Ridley Scott wraps it all in luxe trappings. But the story is slow and talky, so viewers looking for excitement must seek it elsewhere.