It’s a story of an aging man named Frank and how his children do their best to take care of him. They have the brilliant idea of giving him a caretaker robot, because surprise! This is also a story of the near future and technologies that feel nearly within our reach. But wait! It’s also the story of Frank’s sweet romance with the local librarian. So it’s also a love story. But there’s more! Frank is a retired thief, and he decides to teach the snooty rich kids that look down upon his precious librarian a lesson… by stealing their jewels. So it’s a heist film! But the last, and certainly not least, facet of this story is that Frank gets his new robot to be his partner in crime, and they become friends in the process. So it’s also a buddy flick!
What is this sci-fi genre bender? It’s Robot and Frank, a family sci-fi romance buddy heist dramadey wrapped up in a heartwarming package. Confused? Shh, just watch the trailer. It'll all make sense:
Robot and Frank stars Frank Langella as Frank and Peter Sarsgaard as the voice of the robot. Liv Tyler of Rivendell fame and the ever-so-hunky James Marsden play Frank’s children, while Susan Sarandon plays the local librarian and Frank’s sweetie pie.
The film won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The Alfred P. Sloan Prize is given to a feature film that has a theme of science or technology, or has a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a main character. Both critics and regular viewers at the festival gave Robot and Frank lots of positive feedback, which is a promising sign.
This is director Jake Schreier’s first feature film, which could be good or bad. Thankfully, the trailer and the reviews so far seem to be leaning much more heavily on the side of “good.” Lovable robot? Check. Jewel heists? Check. Engaging characters all around? Check. Lighthearted take on the uncomfortable reality of how to care for your aging parent? Check.
And so, to sum it up, Robot and Frank looks to be delightfully charming and original. This indie flick is released August 24th, so mark your calendars, and we’ll see you at the theater!