The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
The love and friendship between an elderly man and his companion robot seems an odd premise for a film but be prepared to be touched by this comedy drama.
It's set in the near future, where former jewel thief Frank (Frank Langella), on the verge of senility, is given a robot butler (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) to take care of him by his grown-up children (James Marsden and Liv Tyler) who are both worried about him - but not enough to look after him themselves.
At first the grouchy and lonely Frank is resentful and suspicious of the robot but when he realises he can teach him to pick locks he enlists his help in carrying out one last heist. The funniest moments transpire during the planning and the execution of that crime caper.
The pair make a loveable odd couple, thanks to Langella's masterful performance as a man trying to hang on to his dignity and his mind. The robot, sounding like Hal from 2001, never develops a personality and stays true to his programme remit, Frank's welfare.
You can't help but be moved by this gem which paints a bleak yet realistic picture of growing old - minus the robot - and deserves to be seen.