The Oscar nominations were announced Thursday: the same day Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival kicked off in Park City, Utah. Though he was once a favorite not only to be nominated, but to win for his performance in All Is Lost, Redford was snubbed.
Sean P. Means, the film critic for the Salt Lake City Tribune who moderated the press conference with Redford and the festival programmers, asked him about it right away.
Redford handled the question tactfully, yet incisively. "I don't want that to get in the way of why we're here," he said. "Because this is very important to me and the staff. Let me speak frankly about how I feel about it."
He then praised the director, J.C. Chandor, and the movie. "I loved working with him," Redford said. "We premiered his first film at our festival, so there was that connection."
The movie has almost no speaking in it, and no other actors. "It was so stripped down of most elements that are in films, like voiceovers and dialogue and special effects — it was, for me, more of a pure cinematic experience. I loved that," Redford said.
But then Redford calmly but pointedly criticized Roadside Attractions, the distributor. "We suffered from little to no distribution," he said. "I don't know if they didn't want to spend the money, or were afraid. Or they just were incapable."
"Would it have been wonderful to be nominated?" Redford posed rhetorically. "Of course. But I'm not upset by it, disturbed by it, because it is a business, and we couldn't conform to that."
He continued: "It stood the chance of having a wider distribution had they stepped up."
Then he remembered he's Robert Redford. "I'm fine!" he concluded.