Bicentennial Man (film)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Promotional poster for Bicentennial Man
|Directed by||Chris Columbus|
|Produced by||Michael Barnathan|
|Written by||Isaac Asimov|
|Music by||James Horner|
|Editing by||Neil Travis|
Nicolas de Toth (addl)
|Distributed by||Touchstone Pictures (USA)|
Columbia Pictures (International markets)
|Release date(s)||December 17, 1999USA)(|
|Running time||132 min.|
|Gross revenue||$89,403,841 (worldwide)|
The film follows the evolution of the android robot Andrew Martin (Robin Williams) from his introduction into the Martin family and interaction with them through four generations: discovery of his emotional and creative abilities, development into an artist and inventor, evolution into an android, his fight to win legal recognition for his humanity, and ultimate destiny.
Based on the novel The Positronic Man, co-written by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg which is itself based on Asimov's original novella titled The Bicentennial Man, the plot explores issues of humanity, slavery, prejudice, maturity, intellectual freedom, conformity, sex, love, and death.
The NDR series robot "Andrew" (Robin Williams) is introduced into the Martin family home in April 2005 to perform housekeeping and maintenance duties. The family's reactions to the new convenience range from acceptance and curiosity to outright rejection and deliberate vandalism by their surly older daughter, Grace (Lindze Letherman), which leads to the discovery that this robot can both identify emotions and reciprocate in kind. When Andrew accidentally breaks a glass figurine belonging to "Little Miss" Amanda Martin (Hallie Kate Eisenberg), to whom he is devoted, he carves a similar figurine out of wood. The family is astonished by this sign of original creativity in a robot and “Sir” Richard Martin (Sam Neill) takes Andrew to his manufacturer, NorthAm Robotics, to inquire if all the robots are like him. The CEO of the company sees this development as a problem and wishes to scrap Andrew or, as he puts it, "fix him." Angered, Martin takes Andrew home and allows him to pursue his own development: creating masterpiece clocks and other wood items. He also encourages Andrew to educate himself in the humanities and helps him to understand the concepts.
Many, many years have passed, and Amanda is grown up. While working on the Martins' basement, Amanda talks with Andrew, and yells his name from behind. Andrew gets surprised, and his right thumb is accidentally cut off. Martin again takes him to NorthAm Robotics for repairs, ensuring first that Andrew's personality will remain unharmed. Andrew requests that while he is being repaired his face be altered to convey the emotions he feels but cannot fully express; after the repairs Andrew is able to show a wider degree of facial expression including smiling. Through the years, Andrew has amassed enough money to need a legal adviser and bank account. Andrew eventually asks for his freedom, much to Richard's dismay. Deeply hurt, Mr. Martin grants his request, but banishes Andrew from the house so that he can be 'completely' free, once Andrew is free he starts to refer to himself as "I" rather than "one," as Andrew has done during the years. With his money Andrew builds himself a home and lives alone. In 2048, Andrew sees Richard Martin one last time on his deathbed. Mr. Martin apologizes to Andrew for banishing him, telling him it was Andrew's right to have his freedom.
Andrew sets out to find other NDR series robots and discover if they have also developed personalities of their own. He spends years searching, but finds none functioning. Finally, he stumbles across Galatea, a NDR robot that has been given female attributes and personality, but these are simply part of her programming and not developed like Andrew's is. Galatea is owned by Rupert Burns (Oliver Platt), son of the original NDR robot designer. As it turns out, Burns has been working to create a more human looking robot on his own, but has been unable to attract funding for the project. Andrew agrees to finance Burns' research and the two join forces to revolutionize robotics. As part of this research, Andrew designs new artificial prosthetic organs for the robots that could also be used for humans. Over the years, he maintains contact with Amanda, who grows up, marries, divorces and dies. Eventually, Andrew becomes human enough to fall in love with Amanda's granddaughter, Portia (both played by Embeth Davidtz), and she with him.
Now possessing artificial skin and hair, Andrew petitions the World Congress to recognize him as human, which would allow him and Portia to be legally married, but is rejected: he is still immortal and thus cannot be considered human. Over the course of the next century, he proceeds to turn himself into a prosthetic human complete with a nervous system and blood, and begins to age alongside Portia. Andrew again attends the World Congress, now appearing old and frail, and again petitions to be declared a human being. The new Speaker of the Congress (Lynne Thigpen) agrees to debate the issue and asks him why he wants this. Andrew replies: "To be acknowledged for who and what I am; no more, no less. Not for acclaim, not for approval, but the simple truth of that recognition has been the elemental drive of my existence and it must be achieved if I am to live or die with dignity."
Andrew is on his death bed, Portia beside him, when the Speaker of the World Congress finally announces on television the court's decision: that Andrew Martin is now officially recognized as human, and, aside from "Methuselah and other Biblical characters," the oldest human being in history at the age of two-hundred years old. The Speaker also finally validates the marriage between Portia and Andrew. Andrew dies while listening to the broadcast, and Portia orders their nurse, a now recognizably human Galatea, to unplug her life support machine. The movie ends with Portia about to die hand-in-hand with Andrew, as she whispers to him "See you soon."
- Academy Awards — Best Makeup
- Blockbuster Entertainment Award — Favorite Actor — Comedy (Robin Williams)
- Blockbuster Entertainment Award — Favorite Actress — Comedy (Embeth Davidtz)
- Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award — Best Character Makeup — Feature
- Blimp Award — Favorite Movie Actor (Robin Williams)
- Razzie Award — Worst Actor (Robin Williams)
- YoungStar Award — Best Young Actress/Performance in a Motion Picture Comedy (Hallie Kate Eisenberg)
- Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award — Best Special Effects Makeup — Feature
- Robin Williams as Andrew Martin
- Embeth Davidtz as 'Little Miss' Amanda Martin/Portia Charney
- Sam Neill as 'Sir' Richard Martin
- Oliver Platt as Rupert Burns
- Kiersten Warren as Galatea
- Wendy Crewson as 'Ma´am' Rachel Martin
- Hallie Kate Eisenberg as 'Little Miss' Amanda Martin age 7
- Lindze Letherman as 'Miss' Grace Martin age 9
- Angela Landis as 'Miss' Grace Martin
- John Michael Higgins as Bill Feingold, Martin's Lawyer
- Bradley Whitford as Lloyd Charney
- Igor Hiller as Lloyd Charney age 10
- Joe Bellan as Robot Delivery Man
- Brett Wagner as Robot Delivery Man
- Stephen Root as Dennis Mansky, Head of Northam Robotics
Bicentennial Man received mixed to negative reviews. The film holds a 38% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 35 out of 92 critics giving it a positive review with an average rating of 4.8 out of 10, while the review aggregator Metacritic gives it a score of 42.
Roger Ebert gave it two out of four stars saying, "Bicentennial Man begins with promise, proceeds in fits and starts, and finally sinks into a cornball drone of greeting-card sentiment. Robin Williams spends the first half of the film encased in a metallic robot suit, and when he emerges, the script turns robotic instead. What a letdown."
|This article includes a list of references or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (November 2009)|
- ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bicentennial_man
- ^ http://www.metacritic.com/video/titles/bincentennialman
- ^ http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19991217/REVIEWS/912170302/1023
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Bicentennial Man (film)|
- Bicentennial Man at the Internet Movie Database
- Bicentennial Man at Rotten Tomatoes
- Bicentennial Man at Metacritic
- Bicentennial Man at Box Office Mojo