In an act of what can only be called smug and clueless defiance, Screen Actors Guild members this morning refused to include Robert Redford‘s career-capping performance in All Is Lost among the five SAG Best Actor nominations. I’m not just angry at these tools but…well, confused. Critics and columnists and people who know what’s aesthetically right and wrong have been patiently explaining the inevitability of Redford since Cannes, pointing to the stoic dignity of his historic, all-but-wordless emoting aboard the Virginia Jean. The Redford dismissal is probably more of a reflection of a lack of interest in (i.e., insufficient understanding of and respect for) All Is Lost than a thoughtful response to Redford’s performance, but still…the shallowness!
A journalist friend recently told me about speaking to a very well-known actor at a party. He said the actor had told him he’d popped in a screener of All Is Lost and then turned it off after ten minutes or so. The actor’s explanation went something along the lines of “I saw what this was going to be…all alone, no dialogue, the threat of death…and I quit.” Advanced-age ADD is what home screenings are all about. This is why All Is Lost has to be seen in a theatre, why it has to be paid close attention to. I’m really seething about this. Cauldron of acid in my stomach. I’ve always thought of the SAG membership as a bit whimsical and flakey and on the immature side, but this!