Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 15 September 2012 20:37

'Robot & Frank' presents an appealing, very human story

Frank Langella as Frank & Live Tyler as Madison Frank Langella as Frank & Live Tyler as Madison
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

Robot & Frank could easily have been a sappy or melodramatic indulgence. Instead, director Jake Schreier's premiere film is a delightful, character-driven story of an aging, increasingly forgetful father of two, living alone in a lovely, woodsy area. His career-centered son Hunter and free-spirited daughter Madison worry increasingly about him. Enter Robot, courtesy of Hunter.

Robot, who has no other given name, will offer companionship, though Frank doesn't want it, and Robot will clean up the house mess, coach Frank on healthy eating and exercise, cook nutritious meals, and put Frank on a schedule. Frank rebels, resists, and refuses until he finds that he can cajole and bargain Robot into aiding and abetting his previous illegal activities: burglary but only of the best jewelry. A return to Frank's specialty adds a jaunty subplot with a sourpuss couple as the targets and Jeremy Sisto, of television's Law & Order fame, as the local, smiling cop sure of his perpetrator.

Set in the 'near future' the story is sufficiently recognizable to feel familiar and sufficiently imaginative to have great fun with the technology: the gifted robot, big screen Skype phone calls, sleek little cars, and libraries morphing into access points for electronic instead of print volumes. Heading this village's library is love interest Jennifer, Susan Sarandon, woefully underutilized in the film.

Instead, Frank Langella holds center stage with an unyielding determination and comic aplomb. Refusing to soften Frank's edges or to indulge any sentimentality, Langella delivers yet another brilliant tour-de-force performance. The well-written, clever script by Christopher D. Ford keeps the humor foremost while the undercurrent of emotion provides a solid foundation without ever tipping over into sheer silliness.

Peter Sarsgaard, who provides the voice of Robot, interprets the intonations perfectly, giving slightly awkward inflections to colloquialisms and a formal, flat delivery for HAL-type computer comments. For years some have advocated an Oscar for voice performance, and Sarsgaard's multifaceted, lively readings will add to the reasons for it.

Robot & Frank, note who gets top billing, is bright, quick, and a refreshingly upbeat filmic pleasure. At Landmark's Plaza Frontenac Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Karate Bikini - A Simpler Sugar

Wed November 26
Karate Bikini is an eight piece ensemble who's members hail from St. Louis and the metro area. They are a large band with a large sound. Their latest album A Simpler Sugar is full of upbeat pop songs,…

Jah Orah and KD Assassin

Wed November 19

KDHX Recommends

December
Friday
05

Roscoe Mitchell and Craig Taborn

An internationally known musician, composer and innovator, Roscoe Mitchell began his distinguished career in the spirited 1960s of Chicago. NYC pianist and ECM recording artist, Craig Taborn, has remained a ubiquitous presence on the...


December
Thursday
11

KDHX Discovery Series: History of Psychedelia

The KDHX Discovery Series presents the "History of Psychedelia," with DJ valis. KDHX DJ, valis will take you on a multimedia journey through the annals of psychedelic musical history. The evening will feature a...


December
Sunday
14

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Celia's Yuletide Express Secular Holid...

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Celia's Yuletide Express Secular Holid... 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Celia's Yuletide Express Secular Holiday Sing-along Sunday, December 14 at Noon. Tickets available online.  Toys, clothes, food and other gifts will be collected at the door for...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

4 users and 10735 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook