Robot & Frank

Wednesday October 3rd 2012

We’re now well into the second week of advance press screenings for the London Film Festival but I have yet to review any of the largely excellent films I’ve seen because, five years in, I’ve still not quite worked out how to deliver ‘coverage’ of this thing. Well fuck it: Robot & Frank seems as good a place to start as any.

Frank Langella plays the eponymous Frank, an ageing jewel thief grappling with the onset of dementia (Richard Jenkins must had had prior commitments). Now retired, he spends his days frequenting his favourite library, shoplifting from local gift stores and generally forgetting about things in the way that elderly people tend to do in the first acts of movies about degenerative diseases. Frustrated by his antics, his son Hunter (James Marsden, who’s apparently forgiven him for all the shit that went down in The Box) buys him a therapeutic helper robot, voiced exquisitely by Peter Sargaard. Seriously, get that man a celebrity GPS voice gig.

What follows is 90 minutes of painfully delightful business in which a forgetful old man makes friends with humanoid robot, in a film that somehow manages to be neither ineffectually lightweight nor excessively worthy. It’s also funny as shit.

One to watch!

I don’t even know what that means.