Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.
Directed: Jake Schreier
What we think: Frank (Langella) is slowing drifting into dementia, although his stiff upper lip and stubbornness refuse him to believe that there is anything wrong.
His children fight to offer him help despite an ongoing sense of resentment that they have to, when his son Hunter presents Frank with a robot butler designed to look after him he finds another more profitable use for it.
The portrayal of old age in any film is nothing short of a depressing one, we’re all going to end up that way at some point in our lives whether we like it or not, the only control we have is do we go quietly or kicking and screaming.
The robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) is not given a name but his calming presence and almost dry underlying humour make him a perfect compliment for Frank’s brash and rather direct old timer.
Frank’s hidden past was as a jewel thief, spending most of his early life inside made it clear that he was not a good father to either of his children, and he’s been divorced from his wife for some time.
It’s a beautifully written script set near enough in the future that it still is in keeping with present day surroundings, uniquely different mobile phones and voice activated Skype chat seem to be the more futuristic of the technologies, robots aside.
As their relationship develops the bond between them becomes closer, almost to a point that it feels very much like a real life Wall-E, Frank relaxes to become dependant on the Robot.
A solid film with great central performances and controlled and light hearted direction, the plot might seem wayward at times but it holds well for the duration.
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Visit the IMDB page for Robot & Frank
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