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A 2011 movie directed by David Schwimmer

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A surprisingly deep realist drama.

  • Aug 30, 2011
*** out of ****

I'm usually against films as one-sided about a situation as "Trust"; a film that lacks as much depth as it already has. The film was directed by David Schwimmer, who is a regular on the television sitcom "Friends", and went from that to his directorial debut, "Run Fat Boy Run". With this film, he has made something different, and perhaps something better. But his first feature was a comedy, and "Trust" is a drama. I cannot compare the two without drawing a few blanks. However, this is a film that should put Schwimmer on the map as a talent, not so much for uniqueness in the way of directorial style, but more-so in the way of, say, storytelling. I don't believe that "Trust" is perfect. But nor is it typical weekend entertainment, and in that sense, it's better than it should be.

The film begins by showing us an honest, happy American family. Will (Clive Owen) and Lynn (Catherine Keener) are the parents, and they have three children; one quite young, one heading off to college, and the most important one is Annie (Liana Liberato), who is going into High School. It doesn't seem as if she is having much problems adapting to this environment; she even has a few friends. However, when her birthday comes up and dad gives her a new computer, life gets a whole lot worse.

Annie starts an on-going Internet chat with a user who calls himself Charlie. He claims to be a young man, somewhat accomplished in life with sports and school, and he clearly takes a liking to Annie. They can talk, virtually, for hours. Of course, they've never met; but they can still send pictures. Annie has no objection to these things; she wants Charlie, and he wants her. They agree to meet one day in the mall, and this is when Annie learns a deadly secret about Charlie; that he is not who he claims to be.

In an instant, Charlie, who is really a thirty year old man, seduces Annie to coming back with him to a motel, where he rapes her. For the better or for the worse, we don't see the crime being committed; but the good thing about the film is that in spite of this, it doesn't go soft on its subjects. Mom and Dad find out, deal with the grief, and hire a therapist to try to talk some sense into their daughter, who still thinks that Charlie is a good man, in spite of his pedophilia.

The film takes us through all these big reveals and realizations as if it were a process; and in some ways, it is. The rape isn't the worst of the film's events; the aftermath may be even worse. You watch the film go on, and see the characters continue to break, and you can't enjoy it; but that's not the point. "Trust" is deep and intriguing; true, realistic, and dramatic. It was thought-provoking, interesting, and I'd definitely recommend it to those who are adventurous. The film speaks the truth; these things do happen, every day, and they go unnoticed most of the time. The film allows us to witness such horror; and deal with it.

Some might love it and some might hate it. I must admit, it does have one very fatal flaw; I found it to be very melodramatic and forced in some scenes. It was daring, but not as daring as it (probably) could have been. But then again, it doesn't need to sacrifice its R-rating for anything; nor does it need to hide what it's all about. I took a step back and saw what Schwimmer was trying to do, and it was something good. There was some pretty solid direction going on here, although nothing too stylish or distinctive, but what the hell; it worked. There are also some fantastic performances from Owen and Keener, and especially Liberato as a normal, vulnerable, confused teenage girl.

I think we've all met characters like the ones here; and that's part of the charm, if you could call it that. I have seen bad dramas, and I have seen taut ones, such as this one. For what it was, I accepted it, and looked at it in different ways. It doesn't go very deep into the mind of its villainous pedophile (Charlie), but I didn't expect such an approach either. However, such thoughts might have made it great. Oh, well; I guess I'll just have to take it as it is. And so should you. For no matter how much you try to deny it, "Trust" is full of facts and deception. I liked the film, and admired it greatly; I just wish I had felt a bit more. But you can't always get what you want, and hey; I can't complain. "Trust" gave me what I wanted; a solid film. That is what it is, and that is why it is recommended; end of story.

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More Trust reviews
review by . April 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         There are so many ways Trust could have gone wrong, but in the hands of director David Schwimmer and screenwriters Andy Bellin and Robert Festinger, it’s a masterpiece – a film that tackles delicate subject matter with insight, intelligence, and compassion. We’re made to think that it’s the story of a suburban teenage girl groomed and raped by an internet predator, but it’s nowhere near that simple; it’s really …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Director: David Schwimmer
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Release Date: 1 April 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Andy Bellin, Robert Festinger
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