Robot & Frank, out now in New York and expanding to more markets tomorrow and in the coming weeks, is a charming and surprisingly heartfelt robot buddy heist movie; it is also a vehicle for the great Frank Langella, and one which prompts the question, “Can’t Frank Langella just be in everything?” One of the many drawbacks of the star-based, high-dollar climate in Hollywood is that, too often, the only actors that get attention and kudos are the paycheck players. Langella is one of the many fine thespians who don’t get enough credit for the good work that they’re doing — nor do they get cast as often as they should. After the jump, a few more great actors who don’t get the props they deserve.
There was a moment in the late 1970s when it looked like Langella was going to be an honest-to-goodness marquee idol — his good looks and smoldering intensity in the 1979 film version of Dracula put him in high demand. But Langella wasn’t interested in being a movie star. His primary interest was in the theater, and he spent most of the 1980s on stage — tough the blame him, so the best roles he was being offered were in projects like Masters of the Universe. He’s split his time fairly evenly between Broadway and Hollywood over the past couple of decades, doing remarkable work in both; the man lends authenticity and gravitas to whatever he does, and if his stunning performances in Starting Out in the Evening, Good Night and Good Luck, and Frost/Nixon are any indication, this actor is only getting better as he gets older.