“That thing is going to kill me in my sleep.” Those are the words uttered by Frank (played by a real life Frank, Frank Mingella), when his son introduces him to the robot that he’s procured to help him with his ailing memory and flagging health. “Someone’s going to kill you in your sleep,” comes his son’s muttered reply (played by James Marsden).
Also starring Liv Tyler, Peter Sarsgaard and Susan Sarandon, what looks to be starting as a heart-warming family tale soon develops a darker side as Frank and his Robot become embroiled in a touch of criminal activity. So far, the movie has largely been a hit with the critics. Kenneth Turan of Los Angeles Times describes the movie as “charming, playful and sly,” and adds “it makes us believe that a serene automaton and a snappish human being can be best friends forever.”
Frank Langella’s performance as the increasingly confused old man and New York Times’ Manohla Dargis praises him by saying “Frank Langella plays so many variations on cute and crotchety and with such suppleness - he's by turns a charming codger, a silver fox and a wise graybeard - that his performance comes close to a saving grace.” The winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Alfred P. Sloan Prize, Robot & Frank is due for release later this year.