Thanks Roger. Our next film attempts to tackle a difficult subject and loses. It’s called TRUST, and it stars Clive Owen and Catherine Keener as the parents of a teenage girl who is raped by an online predator. It all starts innocently enough when the girl connects with an older boy named Charlie in a volleyball chat room.
That older boy turns out to be a significantly older man who coerces the girl into having sex with him. After the incident, the girl begins meeting with a therapist, but refuses to admit that she was raped.
Her father, in the meantime, becomes obsessed with violent fantasies of hunting down and killing the perpetrator.
Now, one thing that movies are especially suited for doing is forcing people to look at things they’d rather not think about. TRUST, however, lacks that kind of commitment. It certainly has the cast to confront the complexities at hand. Owen and Keener make a convincing married couple, and Liana Liberato is unsettling as the daughter—when she’s given the opportunity. But the film instead chooses to merely acknowledge the issues and then move on. The result is little more than a well-acted series of loose ends and cop-outs. It’s Thumb’s down for me.
My thumb is a little bit up, not hugely enthusiastically up, this might have seemed shocking 15 years ago you know with the advent of chat rooms and the idea of kids being potenitial prey. That still exists now in myriad forms, texting, whatever…facebook. So it’s still relevent, but it might have shaken us up a little more had it been made a long, long time ago. It also is a hair better than an after school special that is talking about this topic and that is because of the cast. Clive Owen is great in everything, Catherine Keener is great in everything, I had never seen Liana Liberato prior to this and she has these moments that are you know very raw and very believable. She’s the innocent girl and she changes a lot and she reacts in ver y surprising ways on how this thing goes down.
I think this film…there’s a potential here with this subject and with this cast and I think there’s only one scene for me where it realizes that potential. And that is the meeting between the girl and the predator in the motel room and it is uncomfortable and it really is confronting these issues because there’s not only this you know cyber predator thing going on, but there’s also quite a lot with how people don’t want to think about their children’s sex lives and you know about teen sexuality. There are you know, that is really the only moment where it goes after that issue. Other than that, it feels like the film is trying too hard to make this subject palatable. It’s something really difficult and it should be confronted head on.
And the connection with American Apparel ads and how those hyper sexualized teens, it feels like a bit of a reach to say like that’s the reason this kind of activity goes on.
But it’s still an interesting idea. I mean do you feel, cause you’re giving this a thumbs up, do you feel that the cast is worth it?
They definitely elevate material that might have seemed mediocre otherwise. Again, the direction is kind of bland from David Schwimmer, this is his second film after Run Fatboy Run, didn’t really grab you, but again the performances are all strong.
For me, I mean good performances can only make you know a film better. They can’t make a bad film good.