Bicentennial Man

Bicentennial Man
i0 was stung at the 1999 box office, due no doubt in part to poor timing during a backlash against Robin Williams and his treacly performances in two other, then-recent releases,
i Jakob the Liar
i0 and
i Patch Adams
i0 . But this near-approximation of a science fiction epic, based on works by Isaac Asimov and directed, with uncharacteristic seriousness of purpose, by Chris Columbus (
i Mrs. Doubtfire
i0 ), is much better than one would have known from the knee-jerk negativity and box-office indifference.
Williams plays Andrew, a robot programmed for domestic chores and sold to an upper-middle-class family, the Martins, in the year 2005. The family patriarch (Sam Neill) recognizes and encourages Andrew's uncommon characteristics, particularly his artistic streak, sensitivity to beauty, humor, and independence of spirit. In so doing, he sets Williams's tin man on a two-century journey to become more human than most human beings.
As adapted by screenwriter Nicholas Kazan, the movie's scale is novelistic, though Columbus isn't the man to embrace with Spielbergian confidence its sweeping possibilities. Instead, the
i Home Alone
i0 director shakes off his familiar tendencies to pander and matures, finally, as a captivating storyteller. But what really makes this film matter is its undercurrent of deep yearning, the passion of Andrew as a convert to the human race and his willingness to sacrifice all to give and take love. Williams rises to an atypical challenge here as a futuristic Everyman, relying, perhaps for the first time, on his considerable iconic value to make the point that becoming human means becoming more like Robin Williams. Nothing wrong with that.
i --Tom Keogh

uuid: 05EF5428-EC12-4E9C-90D0-1E9E329BC23F
upc: 9780788818332
title: Bicentennial Man
theatricalDate: 17-12-1999
stars: Robin Williams
Embeth Davidtz
Sam Neill
Oliver Platt
Kiersten Warren
purchase date: 19-06-2007
publisher: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Touchstone
published: 13-06-2000
price: $14.99
net Rating: 4
MPAA Rating: PG
minutes: 131
last lookup time: 203998192
genre: Robin Williams
Robots & Androids
fullTitle: Bicentennial Man
features: Anamorphic
director: Chris Columbus
currentValue: $3.75
created: 203998192
country: us
aspect: DVD
asin: 630587493X