Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trust: Movie Review


The simple act of trusting runs deep and dramatically. 

“Trust.” That’s what the online sexual predator keeps telling 14 year-old Annie (Liana Liberato). “Trust me.” Problem is, she does. Even when he keeps lying about his age, lying about where he lives, and then taking her to his motel room. This movie is about the stupid things that 14 year-old girls do. Although Annie is relatively careful she doesn’t understand what qualities good people have and what qualities evil people have. 2010

Directed by: David Schwimmer

Screenplay by: Andy Bellin and Robert Festinger

Starring: Liana Liberato, Clive Owen and Catherine Keener

Charlie, as Annie comes to know him, acts exactly like we would assume savvy sex offenders would act. He tells her she’s pretty just when she’s at a time that she needs to hear that. That simple word allows her to trust Charlie even though he’s almost as old as her father.

While Annie trusts Charlie, she does not trust her parents or her friends. Her father doesn’t trust her, and just as bad, he doesn’t trust the FBI in running the investigation against her violator.

In three simple acts, we first follow Annie’s dangerous relationship with Charlie, then the legal consequences, and then the emotional fallout when her father no longer knows how to protect his teenage daughter. I say simple, because it’s actually pretty refreshing to have a drama which doesn’t include more needless drama.

I’ve commented before that I’m never sure if text on a screen is the best way to display chat-log driven films but here they showed it over top of other scenes, a very efficient way to introduce us to the character of Annie and the relationship of Annie and Charlie at the same time.

Most people would assume that Annie’s actions are pretty stupid (they are) and completely unrealistic, but sadly, they’re probably mostly true. And, more specifically, that’s what this is about: A father’s inability to understand what his teenage daughter is going through, what her reactions are, and what she needs to move on.

“Trust” features a stellar cast, a dramatic story told simply and straight, and effective scenes portraying exactly what they’re supposed to. The elegant Catherine Keener is as good as always, and Clive Owen shows that these are the types of roles he should be doing. Even supporting characters in minor roles were given enough that you cared about them. We already know Viola Davis is a scene-stealer from “Doubt”, and there’s a decent chance that we’ll get to know Spencer Curnutt after this small, but good, film debut.

It’s cool knowing that I am no longer a stupid 14 year-old girl who watched “Friends” and laughed at Ross’s over-the-top mannerisms. And now I get to keenly watch a cogent drama subtly directed by David Schwimmer.


Rid of Me (2011) - A bleak character encompassing the best and discomfort of a dark comedy.

Dirty Girl (2010) - Embracing the dirty girl attitude.