So 2013 has been a great year for films, with releases from new directors and veterans the choice in cinemas has been great. This list is purely personal, based on my own critical opinions and personal enjoyment, and designed to inform and maybe inspire a few more viewings or purchases for some of my favourite films of this year so far . . .
To read the full review of any of the films in this list just click on the title.
A quirky indie comedy about the troubles of ageing, Robot & Frank tells the tale of Frank (Frank Langella) a retired jewel thief with Alzheimer’s who trains his domestic robot in the arts of the cat burglar.
Set in the ‘near future’ we see Frank plunged into a changing world. His favourite restaurant has closed, his library is having its books removed and he has been stuck with a faceless robot by his well-meaning son (James Marsden). In this unfamiliar world Frank has to trying to ground himself with something he knows – stealing high-end jewelry.
James Marsden and Liv Tyler play Frank’s children whose different ideas about how to look after their father are often at odds with the man himself. While everyone gives great performances this is really a one-man show, carried by Langella whose well-studied performance inspires both empathy and sympathy as we see Frank swing from competence to confusion sometimes within the same sentence
A funny film tinged with sadness, Robot & Frank is both heart warming and heart breaking as we see an unlikely friendship blossom between man and robot. It is a small character lead film that gives you a brief snapshot of a man’s life, and the way his choices and illness have affected his family and friends.
Having won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Robot & Frank is set to open in the UK on the 8th March.