I just saw Robert Redford’s new movie yesterday, All Is Lost.
In this rather grimly titled saga, Bob plays a strong silent type sailing solo in the Indian Ocean on a pleasure yacht that gets rammed into by a floating shipping container filled with sneakers. The film comes across sort of like an updated, septuagenarian version of Jeremiah Johnson going to sea.
Now I know there’s a been a lot of chatter in the blogosphere already about it being yet another vanity project for Redford, or if an experienced sailor would do some of the things portrayed in the film (at the very least, in the way shown), and whether the end is a cop-out (or maybe something else entirely).
Whatever floats your boat on that last one.
All I know is that I kept thinking how much like Ted Koppel the Sundance Kid now looks.
After the movie ended, I got to thinking: what if Our Man (Redford’s character) was played by a woman.
For giggles, here’s the skinny on how an Our Woman might have been interpreted by 10 actresses in the autumn of their careers (except for one or two).
1. Linda Hamilton
Linda beats the shit out of a shiver of circling sharks.
2. Linda Fiorentino
Linda has sex with a shiver of circling sharks.
3. Meryl Streep
Meryl starts speaking in tongues to a shiver of circling sharks.
4. Debra Winger
Debra dumps the sharks for Richard Gere.
5. Kathy Bates
Kathy hobbles the sharks as she calls them dirty birds.
6. Jessica Lange
Jessica confuses the sharks with swimming gorillas.
7. Susan Sarandon
Susan stitches a needlepoint pillow as the yacht sinks.
8. Whoopi Golberg
Whoopi tries to interview the sharks.
9. Penelope Cruz (if the movie had been directed as a comedy by Woody Allen)
Penelope shoots the sharks and blames it all on Javier Bardem.
10. Greta Garbo
Greta tells the sharks she just vonts to be alone.
I suppose the only thing now inevitably left to say is, of course, shiver me timbers!
* With fond memories of Pauline Kael
Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016