Posted by Eric Stumpf
The Saratoga Film Forum will screen Christopher Ford and Jake Schreier's "Robot and Frank" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, and Friday, Nov. 2. The film will also run at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov 3.
Winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance, "Robot and Frank" presents its own quirky take on sci-fi. Frank Langella stars as the eponymous character, a fairly grumpy retiree set in his ways. He gets along all right, finding comfort in his love interest Jennifer (Susan Sarandon).
But Frank's son Hunter (James Marsden) worries about his ability to live at home and, rather than place Frank in a nursing home, decides to buy him a robot. The robot is a fully functional humanoid specifically programmed to improve Frank's health.
Comedy and drama ensue as the two interact and adapt to each other's presences. The film also acts as a cautionary tale about technology - Frank takes advantage of the robot in order to satisfy an old habit of jewel thieving (Think "The Intouchables" meets Ray Bradbury meets "Entrapment").
I've always loved sci-fi, especially that specific genre of "in the near future." This film tackles the idea beautifully by implementing simple ideas and new technologies that fit the story perfectly. "Robot and Frank" goes further than the grumpy-old-man story line might imply, and gives beautiful allegories about aging and accepting new things instead.
Frank Langella excels in his role, and placing him opposite an expressionless robot only solidifies his powerful acting. The robot itself is also quite fantastic in both voice (Peter Sarsgaard) and movement (dancer Rachael Ma).
Adam Ross of the Aristocrat states "... a marvel of the highest order. "Robot and Frank" manages to seamlessly blend comedy, science fiction and drama into a film that is hilarious, truly original and utterly heartfelt."
Fear the future or yearn for it - but either way this film is a must see.
Relevant Majors: Sciences, Dramatic Arts and Psychology
Stay tuned for next week's review of "Arbitrage," coming to the Film Forum on Nov. 8.