Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 15 September 2012 21:37

'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


Lida Una

Sun October 5

Brian Owens

Mon September 29
Brian Owens is an American soul singer and songwriter from St. Louis. His new album Preach combines grooves, with soul touching lyrics.. Preach is a well produced album that speaks to the modern times,…

KDHX Recommends

October
Monday
20

Willie Watson

KDHX Welcomes Willie Watson to The Sheldon Concert Hall on Monday, October 20th at 8pm.


October
Thursday
23

Discovery Series: Crossroads in the Blues

KDHX presents "Crossroads in the Blues" as part of the Discovery Series. Series passports can be bought online. Ron Edwards of KDHX's "Nothin' But the Blues" provides a guide through pivotal moments in...


October
Saturday
25

KDHX Reggae Soundclash

St. Louis area DJs and sound systems meet at the Stage at KDHX for a reggae soundclash. The event pits Dub Prophecy vs. Massive Hi Fi in a “friendly clash” – alternating sets of the toughest sounds and the best of...


Get Answers!

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

Online Users

4 users and 13797 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook