Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bicentennial Man (1999)

IMDb plot summary: An android endeavors to become human as he gradually acquires emotions.
Directed by Chris Columbus. Starring Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill, and Oliver Platt.

This movie treads VERY close to the edge of "cheesy and preachy," so I was holding my breath through large parts of the movie, but it never quite crosses that line. Instead, it tells a very touching story, almost epic in its scope, moving forward decades at a time, and while there are a lot of moments that could be disastrously awful if tackled in just a slightly different way, they're all handled well in the end. I think a lot of the credit for this goes to Robin Williams. While he was, of course, most known for his wild and frenetic brand of comedy, I always found him most engaging whenever he pulled back. Here, his character is emotionally restrained and controlled for nearly the whole movie, given a beautifully subtle performance that ties the whole story together. Someday I would like to watch this again, without the constant nervousness that it was going to go horribly wrong -- but as it is, I was impressed and moved. It's a lovely story.

4 stars.

Flickchart: #503 out of 2276, below Waking Ned Devine and above Heavenly Creatures.

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