Robot & Frank – sp The setting of this movie is “some time in the near future.” Frank(Frank Langella), an older man living alone, who may be having some memory problems is visited by his son(James Marsden) who drops off a robot (voice by Peter Sarsgaard) to be his servant/companion. The robot cleans the house, cooks the meals and becomes a meaningful object in Frank’s life. As this very clever story begins to examine the relationship between man and machine, it also allows a look at a film load of life issues. There is the father/son thing especially when father has been away at his own doing for long periods of time and maybe wasn’t the best of dads. The searchlight is put on aging and how an old guy can get marginalized and might want to feel he still is in the game. Not only is there the question of will machines take on human personas in the future but we are reminded that we may be on a path where technology take away things like the intimacy of being able to read and share an actual paper book. All these themes and more are examined as our Don Quixote like character and his faithful Sancho Panza type robot tilt at Frank’s windmills. The closest thing to a Dulcinea is the warm hearted librarian (Susan Sarandon) who has a good reason to have a special spot in her heart for Frank. This is all a lot going on in a tender movie about a robot that originally started off as a short film as part of the NYU Film School studies of C.D. Ford who expanded that project to this screen play along with his then classmate Jake Schreier who directs his first feature film. They now have a really good movie with an award winning performance by Frank Langella. (2012)
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