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Posted by Lynne Martin on Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Ever since the airing of the 2014 GOLDEN GLOBES, the media has been in an uproar over Robert Redford’s supposed snub. His latest American survival story ALL IS LOST (2013) only picked up Best Original Score for Alex Ebert, nothing for Best Picture or Best Actor.

Now a little background for those unfamiliar with the film in question. ALL IS LOST has only one character in the entire movie, and except for the opening soliloquy, there is almost no dialogue to be heard. Redford keeps all of his unnamed character’s thoughts or musings to himself in a very realistic manor. The audience in return is expected to read his expressions and interpret his actions to understand the depth of his struggle. This seasoned veteran doesn’t talk to himself, and he specifically never refers to his character by name. A notable departure from Tom Hank’s character in CASTAWAY (2000) who strangely ran every thought and emotion by Wilson, his aptly named volleyball. 

For this reason, many audiences were unable to relate to Redford’s latest offering, finding themselves shaking their head in amazement while across the aisle a select few seemed to herald this as film as a ground-breaking success. I myself experienced my first one-woman-show with my parents over thirty years ago. For over two hours, Loretta Swit of television’s M*A*S*H* either talked on a plastic telephone, or climbed up on a wooden stool and yammered away at the audience.

By the end of act three, my mother had dozed off, my dad had folded the perfect program-fan, and I’d spent my time searching the wings for Radar O’Reilly—desperately hoping that he’d bolt out on stage to announce incoming choppers. Sadly, that never happened, and this was the last I ever heard of Loretta Swit as a performer.

Historically, one-man/woman-shows easily fall into the category of art films, and anything that strays from the tried and true format of the silver screen runs the risk of alienating its audience. Critics argue that Redford should have been recognized for ALL IS LOST, even as a heartfelt thank-you for creating the Sundance Film Festival. Others have added their voice reminding us that at 77, Redford might not have that many other projects under his belt.

I disagree. If the award shows are to remain the slightest bit credible, each project must be judged on its merits. Career accomplishments are marked by Lifetime Achievement Awards, not the GOLDEN GLOBES.

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