Bicentennial Man (1999)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B

USA/Germany, 1999.  , , , , .  Screenplay by , based on the short story The Bicentennial Man by , and the novel The Positronic Man by Isaac Asimov, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Chris Columbus, , , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

A futuristic family headed up by  and buy a robotic domestic servant (Robin Williams) who comes to live in their house and perform all their chores. When the robot shows signs of gifted intellect, Neill orders upgrades to be done on him until the android decides to begin a quest on his own to become exactly like a human being.

Falling in love with his employer’s daughter (), and later her granddaughter (Davidtz again), Williams traverses two centuries in an attempt to find his humanity, even when it means deciding to become finite and grow old and die.

A common conceit in science-fiction dictates that all other lifeforms want nothing more than to be exactly like us, and this one never manages to put across the theory with much conviction beyond emotional manipulation and cheesy romance.

By the time the second Davidtz falls in love with Williams and decides she wants to commit to him, children will be delighted but adults will be creeped out that a woman wants to marry a vibrator with a sense of humour.

The attention paid to making the film marketable to the “family set” leaves it bereft of much emotional conflict, making it nothing more than a shallow version of the later A.I. with some excellent visual and makeup effects.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Makeup


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