I have to admit, I am a sucker for drama’s like this. Perhaps that is why I am an avid watcher of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, I find it equally as disturbing as I do fascinating when dealing with these sorts of issues. Trust is about a 14 year old girl named Annie (new comer Liana Liberato) who begins chatting online with a boy named Charlie. As they forge an online friendship, it seems things aren’t quite what they seem with the guy, and Annie finds out the truth when they agree to meet. It isn’t long before her parents Will and Lynn (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener) find out exactly what happened, and the FBI soon get involved in the case as Charlie is an online sexual predator.
It sounds disturbing, and it really is. It not only explores what would happen if a young innocent girl got caught up with a predator, but how she would react and deal after this encounter and how her family reacts and deals with it as well. It really isn’t what I was expecting, and the situation is especially horrific for Will, who starts to really lose his mind over what happened. There really isn’t a right way to handle something like this, and the film really shows just how psychologically scarring this situation can be.

I was really impressed by the performances, with Liana Liberato braving such a tough role and being very close in age with the character she is playing. Her confusion over everything that unravels feels natural, she isn’t altogether clueless but she chooses to see things with tunnel vision. When reality hits her, it is devastating and she really accurately portrayed that. Clive Owen is always solid, he’s a great actor and I’ve missed seeing him on screen. He plays the every man father, caring of his children and loving of his wife. But when this happens, he struggles to deal, it’s a powerful performance and there were certain scenes that were painful to watch in how hurtful it was. The way the father and daughter interact after the incident, he almost looks at her as if she is a stranger. It takes courage and intelligence to portray, and Owen certainly has that. Catherine Keener is a top notch actress, she’s very likable and easy to watch. Her role is smaller than Owens but she still brings a lot to the role and elevates it up a bit more. Chris Henry Coffey as the predator is disturbing, he played that creepy and disgusting type of man so well. I believed it and I had a hard time looking at him. The supporting cast are also very solid, with Jason Clarke and Noah Emmerich being the stand outs.
One of the biggest surprises about Trust though, was that this film was directed by David Schwimmer. Now when I think Schwimmer, I always think of Ross Geller from Friends. I was aware that he had been branching out into directing and I didn’t mind Run Fat Boy Run, however Trust is very different and unlike anything I have seen him do. It is a serious and dramatic film, and it deals with some very dark and real issues. In an age where it seems everyone can access the internet, and online communication is at an all time high, it is scary to ponder the ‘what ifs’ of certain situations. I give the man props for tackling something like this, and doing it in a very real and raw way, and treating the audience as smart people. The subject matter is not easy to see come to life on the screen, it acknowledges that and concentrates more on the aftermath then the actual event. If the film has any flaws, it sometimes comes off as a movie of the week type of deal, and I think a little more development early on would have made more of an impact. While being a smart film, it also almost heads into the territory that everyone who goes online is a sexual predator and obviously that isn’t the case. But this is a strong and solid effort and I’d like to see Schwimmer tackle more films like this, he certainly has the talent and he’s shown me there is more to him then that.
| Purchase on DVD | Purchase on Bluray |

One thought on “Trust

  1. Whatever you might be expecting from “Friends” star turned-director David Schwimmer, get ready for an unexpected surprise, because this is certainly not it.
    Trust is in fact quite a mature and complex drama and though it might not be perfect, it certainly deserves a lot of credit and respect not only for tackling such a story, but also (and mostly) for its restrained approach throughout.

    The film is not preachy, nor it pretends to have all the answers: it doesn’t offer any solution to an impossible situation and for most of its length, it manages to avoid the obvious clichés from the genre and just when you think you’ve seen it all before and it takes an unexpected and clever turn.

    Schwimmer is aware of the complexities of its story about a teenager befriending an older man online, and carefully manages to keep his vision very well balanced. He is subtle in his style and in the staging and direction of some truly great performances.

    Check out my FULL review

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