Synopsis: Explores the aftermath of a teenage girl being targeted by an online sexual predator
Don’t be fooled by the opening five minutes of Trust. The happy go lucky images of the young girl dancing around her kitchen, subtitled by the primary coloured snippets of her online chat log, betray a dark and at times unflinchingly uncomfortable look at how quickly a family can be torn asunder by the manipulative actions of a sexual predator.
Directing away from the comfort zone of his comedic past, David Schwimmer uses the visual device of portraying texts and chat logs on screen to great effect. It is something which I normally can’t abide. However, in this scenario it creates a slow burning sense of dread as you, the adult viewer, can only passively observe the naive Annie (played with brutal honesty by young Liana Liberato) being drawn into the clutches of a sexual predator, manipulating her juvenile insecurities to ultimately satisfy his own debased urges.
As a non-parent I felt helpless to do anything as Annie’s parent’s (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener) tried as best they knew how to keep things together in the aftermath of an event that, even the strongest of family units would struggle to deal with; Keener reverting to primalistic maternal urges to protect and nurture; Owen becoming dangerously obsessed with finding the man who robbed his daughter of her innocence. It was nice to be reminded of just how fantastic Owen is on his day after seeing him in some stinkers over recent years. This was his best performance I had seen since Children of Men, a film I still maintain as one of the greatest dystopian tales in modern cinematic history.
The film though belongs to Liana Liberato who doesn’t shy away from one or two scenes that other actresses of her age would not have been able to portray with such emotional honesty. One to watch for the future.
Conclusion: You’ll struggle not to check your kids’ iPhones and chat logs after this.
Cast: Liana Liberato, Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Jason Clarke, Viola Davis, Chris Henry Coffey