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Trailer Watch: Frank Langella Stars in Robo-Buddy Comedy 'Robot & Frank'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 26, 2012 at 12:11PM

Jake Schreier's Sundance hit "Robot & Frank" stars Frank Langella as a retired cat burglar lured back to the profession when he gains an unlikely new partner in crime: A robot named, well, Robot...
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"Robot & Frank"
"Robot & Frank"

Jake Schreier's Sundance hit "Robot & Frank" stars Frank Langella as a retired cat burglar lured back to the profession when he gains an unlikely new partner in crime: A robot named, well, Robot. The newly released trailer is below.

Peter Sarsgaard voices Robot, while James Marsden, Liv Tyler and Susan Sarandon co-star as Frank's son, daughter and librarian girlfriend, respectively. The film will get a limited release through Samuel Goldwyn Films on August 24.

"Robot & Frank" got love from the trades upon its January debut in Park City:

Variety:

"Robot and Frank achieve an odd chemistry. Robot is chipper while Frank is sullen, and Langella does a fine job of portraying a dementia victim's anger at his own malfunctioning mind... There's a tenderness to the film that complements its often barbed dialogue, which Langella delivers with irony, exasperation and sometimes both. Aside from several pleasing plot twists, a gracefully constructed metaphor about memory adds a bittersweet angle to a story that's half sci-fi and half shaggy dog."

The Hollywood Reporter:

"First-time director Jake Schreier has fun here, playing the robo-assisted caper against the increasing concern Frank's kids (James Marsden and Liv Tyler) have for his situation. There's baggage aplenty in the ex-con's parenting history, but the film thankfully underplays that melodrama, reserving its most poignant moments for interactions between man and microchip. Apple fanatics might fetishize the iPhone's Siri and Steve Jobs' other user-friendly innovations, but do any of them love their computers enough to risk jail time instead of reformatting a hard drive?"

This article is related to: Video, Trailers, Frank Langella, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.