A film set in the ‘near future’, Robot And Frank does pretty much what it says on the tin. It’s a story about Frank, played superbly by Frank Langella, who’s an ex-jewel thief now in retirement and falling deeper into the clutches of dementia.
His son Hunter, played by James Marsden, is driving ten hours every week to come and look after his dad and eventually has enough and purchases a robot, voiced by Peter Sarsgaard, who never gets a name but everyone just calls Robot. Needless to say Frank turns Robot into his helper as he returns to his old ways.
Susan Sarandon puts in another great performance as well as the librarian with Liv Tyler popping up as Frank’s daughter
So ok, the names aren’t original, but the movie is great. I can’t say enough good things about the performance from Langella and the woman inside Robot, Rachael Ma, deserves a mention as well if for nothing else but the hours of time she must have spent in the costume!
You are on a roller coaster ride with the movie as it twists and turns and makes you laugh and makes you sad. It’s well directed by newcomer Jake Schreier but it’s writer Christopher D. Ford who should take the plaudits for it is wonderfully written.
Whilst the movie is fairly simple in structure and story sometimes keeping it simple works and that’s what we see here. As the tagline says, friendship doesn’t have an off switch.