This blog isn’t supposed to be yet another movie review blog, we go to other blogs ourselves for that kind of thing, but sometimes we feel so stymied by the length restrictions imposed by some of the new social media websites, in this case Netfix and their 2000 character limit, that we feel compelled to publish here what we wish we were able to say over there in the first place. Two thousand characters isn’t much [if you are counting spaces as well], that’s less than about 400 words. It’s difficult to express one decent idea in that few words and two ideas starts to become a parody of editorial excess.
Today’s essay started as a reaction, maybe a negative one, to the Meme Merchants Cinema Society’s recent viewing of the otherwise critically acclaimed 2013 film All is Lost by American screenwriter and director J.C. Chandor [Jeffery McDonald] staring Robert Redford in a tour de force solo performance, which is usually described with some emphasis as being without any dialogue – as if that’s supposed to be an intrinsically good thing.
The elves at Netflix had this to say:
In this harrowing drama — which has no dialogue — a man stranded alone at sea courageously battles a ferocious storm as he struggles to survive.
Pardon me if I disagree with that assessment. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 93% Fresh, which is very good, so I’m wondering where the divergence lies.
What follows is what I wrote and wanted to publish, with some expansion; what I actually managed to publish at Netflix is right at the bottom.