J.C. Chandor‘s All Is Lost has completely blown everyone away at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s a knockout — a riveting piece of pure, almost-dialogue-free cinema, a terrific survival-on-the-high-seas tale and major acting triumph for Robert Redford, who hasn’t been this good since…what, Brubaker? All The President’s Men? A long time.

“Has there ever been a mostly-dialogue-free commercial film that has worked so successfully since the advent of sound in 1927? What a landmark this film is. And every minute is absorbing. It has you by the head and the throat, and it never lets up. And it ends so beautifully and succinctly.

“I was told during tonight’s after-party that the festival honchos didn’t want All Is Lost in competition because it was “too commercial” What? Nothing about All Is Lost says “overtly commercial” It may turn out to be a hit and good for Chandor, Redford and Lionsgate if that happens, but it’s going to be a bit of a struggle to get Joe and Jane Popcorn to pay to see an almost entirely talk-free movie about an older guy struggling to stay alive on the open seas.

“But I’m telling you straight and true it’s one of the most powerful, absorbing, original-feeling survivalist dramas ever made.” — from my 5.22 Cannes Film Festival review.