Trust (tbc)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner7/07/2011

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 106 mins

Superbly written and impressively directed, this is a powerful and important drama with terrific performances from its three leads, though its impact is slightly lessened by a shift in focus during the second half.

What's it all about?
Directed by David Schwimmer, Trust stars Clive Owen and Catherine Keener as Will and Lynn Cameron, the parents of three children: 18-year-old Peter (Spencer Curnutt), 14-year-old Annie (Liana Liberato) and young Katie (Aislinn DeButch). Unbeknownst to her parents, Annie is involved in an intimate online chatroom relationship with Charlie, who she thinks is a California teenager, so she's understandably shocked when he reveals he's first 20 and then 25.

When Annie's parents drive Peter to college, she agrees to meet Charlie and is upset when he turns out to be an obviously 30-something older man (Chris Henry Coffey). However, “Charlie” convinces her that although he lied about his age, the two of them still share a connection and Annie ends up having sex with him in his hotel room.

When the truth comes out, Will and Lynn are devastated, but Annie fails to understand exactly what's happened or why an FBI agent (Jason Clarke) is suddenly involved.

The Good
Owen delivers one of his best performances as Will (whose job, with heavy irony, is spearheading a sexy ad campaign aimed at young teens), struggling to keep a lid on his anger, his helplessness and his growing obsession with catching the man responsible. Keener is equally good as Lynn and there's strong support from both Clarke and Viola Davis (as Annie's patient counsellor), while Liberato is both thoroughly believable and utterly heartbreaking as Annie.

The script and dialogue are excellent and the use of constant onscreen subtitles for Annie's text conversations cleverly illustrates just how pervasive technology has allowed internet friendships to become. Similarly, the emotions and shifting relationships within the family ring painfully true throughout and the result is extremely moving.

The Bad
The only real problem with the film is that it's frustrating that no-one sits Annie down and patiently explains the concept of internet grooming (by contrast, the equivalent scene in the recent EastEnders storyline was brilliantly written and provided an important message). Similarly, the emotional impact of Annie's story is slightly lessened by a shift of focus to Owen's character in the second half, though at least the film never turns into the vigilante drama it seems to be leaning towards.

Worth seeing?
Trust is a well made, terrifically acted and powerfully moving drama that delivers an important message, though unfortunately, the film's 15 certificate means that the people who most need to hear that message aren't allowed to see it.

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Content updated: 25/05/2019 06:18

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