REVIEW: ROBOT AND FRANK (2012)

robot_frank

Frank Langella proves once again that he is one of the most underrated actors in the business with a great performance in this touching and whimsical story from Director Jake Schreier and writer Christopher D. Ford. This story, set in the near future, tells of retired cat burglar Frank whose slipping mental state causes concern from his kids and provokes his son to buy him a robot home assistant to take care of him. At first Frank hates his automaton companion but, then the two bond as Frank realizes he has a new partner to resume old habits. Robot is a cute and endearing indie comedy/drama that is given added weight by a wonderful performance from lead, Langella. He gives Frank multiple layers as a man who both enjoyed his life of crime yet, regrets the effect it had on his life and relationship with his kids. He also portrays the frustration of someone trying to deal with the effects of aging and trying to overcome it the only way he knows how. It helps that he is surrounded by a good cast with James Marsden as his son and Liv Tyler as his daughter. Both trying to care for a man who wasn’t there for them when growing up. Susan Sarandon is a local woman who catches Frank’s eye and Jeremy Sisto as the local sheriff who becomes very suspicious of the retired burglar when a few thefts hit the small town they live in. A charming and very entertaining movie elevated by the opportunity to see a master actor at work. Also features Peter Sarsgaard as the voice of robot. ***1/2