Cinema Spotlight: 'Robot & Frank' evokes real emotion
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It's not every day you come across a uniquely charming story like "Robot & Frank."
The new independent film stars the venerable Frank Langella who stunned us with his Oscar-nominated performance as Richard Nixon in "Frost/Nixon." His newest role comes as a long-retired crook, invigorated by an unlikely sidekick.
For a movie about a grumpy, aging divorcee, whose mind is slipping, "Robot & Frank" is a refreshingly funny, engaging and compelling story.
To get Frank out of his funk, his son drops off a new robot butler and it takes Frank a while to warm up to it.
In the movie, Frank has lost touch with much of the modern world, but as an ex-cat burglar, the wheels in his head start turning when he realizes his can train the robot to be the partner he never had. Suddenly, Frank's world becomes exciting again, with potential capers right around the corner.
Set in the near future, the modest science-fiction stays ground in human reality and the need for an old man to feel connected again.
Langella's performance is again terrific, gruffly evoking empathy for someone you feel you might know or a person you might someday feel like. It doesn't take any special effects to get the point across, just a special performance and a thoughtful script.
On YNN’s scale, Robot & Frank earns three Lone Stars out of four and is now showing at the Regal Arbor and Violet Crown Cinema.