I originally heard of Robot & Frank whilst watching Film 2012 with Claudia Winkleman towards the end of last year, and for the first time in a long time, I fell in love with a trailer.
Everything about the film looked beautiful; the cinematography, the class of acting, the script-writing. I desperately wanted to see the movie. And then I got on with life and forgot all about it.
That is, until Tuesday. The lovely @HelenaFleur emailed me to ask if I was up for meeting her at the Hospital Club that evening for a screening of the film. Best friend, great movie, favourite members club and wine? I was in.
We sat down (with our wine, of course) in the first floor screening room, just as the film started and fell silent within seconds. There’s something captivating about the way the film is shot, and Frank Langella’s character grabs your interest from the first scene.
There’s nothing fast-paced about this story. Set in the near future, it’s about an old man, who lives alone and is now losing his memory. So…his son gets a Robot to look after him. And he hates it.
The underlying subject matter is fairly hard hitting, and you never quite know where it’s going to lead you. But instead of being a depressing look at Dementia, it’s full of humour, with many laugh out loud moments. It’s tender and heartwarming and then shifts a little when you least expect it. You start to connect with the characters early on; James Marsden plays Frank’s son Hunter brilliantly (and is very easy on the eye) and Liv Tyler is great as his daughter Madison. However, it’s Susan Sarandon and Frank Langella who really steal the show. And the robot is wonderful too.
Is it a family drama? Is it a heist movie? Or even a Comedy? It doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre but I think that’s what is so lovely about the film. It’s written beautifully, acted perfectly and carries you along with it until the last moment – there wasn’t one minute I lost concentration or let my attention drift.
I don’t think I could fault Robot & Frank. I fell in love with it. It’s rare that a movie touches me as much as this one did. I’m sure someone, somewhere will manage to pick holes in it, but for me? It was perfect.
Please, go and see it when you can. I’ll certainly be going again.