In the near future, Frank is a retired catburglar living alone while his successful son, Hunter, tries to care for him from afar. Finally, Hunter gets him a robot caretaker, but Frank soon learns that it is as useful as a burglary aide. As Frank tries to restart his old profession, the uncomfortable realities of a changing world and his worsening dementia threaten to take beyond what any reboot can do for him.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
The vehicle that passes Frank when he is walking down the road is an available production car, a Tango by Commuter Cars. There are only twelve in existence, with a retail price of $240,000 each. See more »
After the Robot is switched on for the first time, you can see the reflection of a crew member on the side of Hunter's car, then another time after the Robot goes into the house. See more »
[a phone rings, and a recorded female voice announces: "Call from Madison Weld. Call from Madison Weld"]
[On a wall video phone, with noisy transmission]
Daddy, it's me, Madison. Hi!
Oh, yeah! Yeah... Hey. How are you doing?
I'm wonderful. Turkmenistan is so beautiful. I am sorry I haven't called. How are you?
Oh! You know... fine. I'm OK.
Has Hunter been coming around?
[...] See more »
Over the closing credits, there's footage of real assisted-living robots in various stages of development. See more »
Robot and Frank - This, the debut feature (lots of creative debuts in this post) from director Jake Schreier is sure to land the young film maker a slot on The Froggy's (or Best of 2012 series...coming soon) list of first time directors this year. Quite "Frank"ly I loved this picture and it was one of the happiest surprises I've gotten from a movie in quite some time.
I don't know why I didn't expect more going in, honestly. Frank Langella is always stellar. Susan Sarandan is one of the best actresses working and seems to be in a minor career upswing at the moment. Neither disappoint at all. Liv Tyler turns in her best post-Altman work to date, and James Marsden holds his own capably beside the two living legends who lead the cast. Oh, and let's not forget Peter Sarsgaard's voice work as the Robot. Without his ability to portray the character with so much human and inhuman quality the picture would never have worked.
I guess I just expected a flick about the frustrations of getting old and not being able to do things for yourself. I sympathize with the theme, but it has been covered in cinema often enough and well enough that I require some unique and original elements to really grab my attention. The Robot & Frank script (by writer Christopher D. Ford) has them in spades. It was a film about friendship and acceptance. It was also a film about the way that technology is changing the world that we live in. I would have given this a five star grade if not for the fact that the big plot twist is taken almost verbatim from an even SMALLER indie pic called Lovely, Still from a couple of years ago. Robot & Frank handled said twist with a lot more panache, so I won't judge it TOO harshly. Oh, and watch the closing credits. They tell a story all their own...4 1/2 of 5 stars.
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