Film Review: Robot & Frank


I was fortunate enough to attend an advance screening of Robot & Frank starring Academy Award nominee Frank Langella.

 

At times this film is laugh out loud funny, but most it is very slight and charming. Frank Langella gives one of the most nuanced acting performances in recent memory as an ex-cat burglar showing signs of dementia, whose son decides to get him a robot to help around the house and be a general friend. (It’s either that or the Memory Centre). At first Frank wants nothing to do with his new “Assistant”, however he changes his tune when he realizes he can use the robot on a theft job to try and win the heart of the local librarian.

Robot & Frank is, in many ways, more than just a film. It serves what could be a telling portrait of what the near future may look like; the relationship between humans and technology, as well as a commentary on love, frienship and family. In a way, it is simply a love story. The film never takes a definitive side on whether the advancement of technology, and specifically, robots in the home is ultimately good or bad, but its poignant ending allows the audience to make a decision for themselves.

Robot & Frank has already been recognized as film with important scientific themes: it won the Alfred P. Sloane prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and encourage other to view it as well.

3/4 stars.

Cast: Frank Langella, Peter Sarsgaard, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Jeremy Strong, Jeremy Sisto, Ana Gasteyer.

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