ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY PREMIERE Robot & Frank★★★★ 11.15pm-12.40am BBC1
It’s tricky to categorise this whimsical and sometimes rather airless sort-of-fable about an old man and his robot buddy, but its heart is in the right place (not least for humanising the big issue of dementia), and septuagenarian Frank Langella brings a laconic world-weariness that only age supplies. The fictional Frank is a retired burglar whose family buys him an automated domestic (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), whose therapeutic routines are initially shunned by the ornery old geezer until he hatches a plan to pull off a heist with the robot’s help. There’s a romantic subplot involving Susan Sarandon, who works at a library that’s due to close down, but the relationship that counts is the one between man and machine. A genuine oddity.
John Wayne and director John Huston made some of the greatest westerns ever, and this is one of them. Monument Valley is as much a star of the film with its huge mesas towering over The Duke like no-one else could.
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