It’s official, my kids are never going to have any communication devices whatsoever.
After curious and vulnerable teenager Annie (Liana Liberato) falls into a trap set by an online sexual predator named Charlie, her family begins to disintegrate, uncertain how to cope with such a devastating tragedy. Utterly consumed by rage, her father (Clive Owen) sets out seeking vengeance.
This is the sophomore directorial effort from David Schwimmer, aka Ross Geller, and it’s pretty strange to see him go from a comedy like Run, Fatboy, Run to a film with little or no comedy at all. However, I don’t think you could have said the same about Run, Fatboy, Run.
Schwimmer doesn’t really bring anything new to this subject material other than the IM’s between Annie and Charlie popping up in the corners of the screen. It also shows how such devices like Smart phones, internet, and blackberries have made teenage crushes constant and almost all time consuming. My problem with his direction is that the cinematography seems like it was done by someone who just got out of film school, and looks like a TV-movie almost.
Now the problem with this film that I had was the script where it became very frustrating at points because so many times it won me over and other times where it just had me roll my eyes. The goods about this script is that the scenario is believable thanks to To Catch a Predator and how Charlie reels Annie in completley making her seem incredibly vulnerable and totally clueless to everything seems realistic since a lot of kids don’t know what to do with their first “love” and just go along with what the other person says.
However, my problem lied within the fact that the actual “rape” itself could have been avoided as soon as Annie figured out that this dude was a little creepy in the beginning. Take it for granted, there are girls out there who don’t actually think that every guy they talk to on the internet is a total creep but it seemed so obvious here when the dude started changing his age from 17 to 23 to 28 and then till she found out he was 35. When they actually meet up too, and she sees him for what he is, she could have easily just ran the fuck out of there, called daddy, and Mr. sex offender would have had a nice little meeting from a certain Mr. Chris Hanson.
This may all sound a bit biased since I’m not a very well-known on the subject of girls going through puberty and everything but there were so many red flags here that just seemed completely obvious and I thought she had a bigger head on her shoulder, other than just showing me complete stupidity when she was talking to this Charlie dude in the first place.
Although this is a big problem, the film kept winning me back when there were just completley dramatic and moving scenes that really kept me glued to the screen. Sometimes family dramas can be totally cliche, corny, and predictable but Trust has scenes where the family just lets it all out on one another, whether it be a hissy fit, a cry-fest, or a screaming match, grief is shown very well here from all of the family members, including the parents. Parents coping with grief isn’t something that’s shown very often, except for in maybe films like In the Bedroom, but the way the film plays out a lot of the scenes actually worked for me and made this more than just another touchy subject film gone wrong.
Schwimmer does know how to direct actors though, and very well I may add. Annie is played by new-comer Liana Liberato, who’s very good and I’m pretty sure we will be hearing her name a lot more due to this performance. She’s very good here because she channels all the emotions that a teen going through a crisis like this would and she does is believably rather than just soaking up the cheesiness. Although her character made a lot of dumb choices throughout the film, Liberato made me believe her more as this teen and never let’s anybody from the rest of the cast steal her spotlight.
Clive Owen and Catherine Keener are amazing as Annie’s parents and make so many of the scenes these two have together, alone, or with Annie, just perfect. Owen has always had that sense of rage and misery within all of his characters, but he does it so well here and Keener just does what she always does in every film but it never loses it’s flavor. Another good performance is from Viola Davis as Gail, Annie’s therapist and although I would have liked to see more scenes with her, Davis still owns.
Consensus: Director David Schwimmer makes Trust a very well-acted and at times emotionally honest film about coping with grief, comforting one another, and getting past a terrible happening within a family, but the problems here lie within the script as too many moments feel too obvious to believe and just seems like with a lot more better touches, could have had so much more tension.