Robot & Frank REVIEW
Robot & Frank DVD review.
Frank & Robot.
Release Date: 15 July 2013
2012 | 12 | 89 minutes | £15.99 (DVD)/£15.99 (Blu-ray)
Distributor: Entertainment One
Director: Jake Schreier
Cast:Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, Peter Sarsgaard, James Marsden, Liv Tyler
Essentially a movie about old age and independence, Robot & Frank is a rare thing: a story about family that’s sad without being sentimental.
The titular Frank is a retired ex-con living far from his grown-up kids, who are worried barmy with reports of his dementia symptoms. Reluctantly accepting a housekeeping robot, Frank grows to love it – and discovers a renewed sense of purpose – when the machine reveals it’ll help commit burglary as well as make his breakfast. As Frank tries to mentor Robot in a way he never could his own son, the pair become a gentle double-act, any tension lightened by sudden announcements like, “It’s time for your enema!”
The film’s unhurried pace and thrift give it a stage-play charm, and rookie director Jake Schreier has fluked a world-class cast for his first feature. Some may not buy a twist hingeing on Frank’s mental deterioration, and a couple of caricatures (the self-obsessed hippy daughter, the pompous local yuppie) are a little broad. But even an automaton could be moved by this poignant, funny tale of an elderly man’s final adventure.
A paltry selection, identical on both formats. There’s a disarmingly unpolished audio commentary with director Jake Schreier and screenwriter Christopher Ford. Then there’s a five-minute interview with Schreier and lead actor Frank Langella; padded with clips, it reveals very little, other than that Langella wishes he had a robot to do his publicity.
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Watch a Robot & Frank featurette.
Read more of our DVD reviews.
For an alternative perspective, read our Robot & Frank review from the theatrical release.