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London Film Festival Preview: Robot & Frank
Manish Agarwal , October 11th, 2012 04:36

Man-meets-machine buddy movie screens at the 56th London Film Festival

Set in the near future, this lightweight caper from new American director Jaker Schreier is carried by Frank Langella's winning performance as retired jewel thief and ex-convict Frank, now dwelling in small town seclusion with a deteriorating memory plus housekeeping issues. A nursing home beckons, until his rich but too busy son Hunter (James Marsden) purchases a compromise in the blocky shape of an all-cooking, cleaning and caregiving robot (impeccably voiced by Peter Sarsgaard). Frank is initially resistant, until he discovers that the android is not programmed to obey the law, which means it can help our hero relive his salad days by planning burglaries.

There's some decent odd couple and grumpy old-timer comedy here, delivered by a seasoned cast that also includes Susan Sarandon and Liv Tyler. However, an unnecessary final twist shoots for poignancy but winds up puncturing the copacetic bubble.