TRUST Home Video Review

*I don't usually post new DVD or Blu-Ray releases on the main review page, but seeing as this film was released a few weeks ago and I was unaware it was already available to rent and own I have made an exception seeing as how good of a film this turned out to be. As I said, "Trust" is now available to own or rent on DVD and Blu-Ray and I highly recommend checking it out. This is a powerful drama that deserves much more attention than it has garnered so far.

I watched the trailer for "Trust" a while ago and was anxious to see this contemporary drama as directed by the always interesting David Schwimmer. The cast looked great, the subject matter tough and so I was excited to know if the execution would be in a way that allowed such strong and present conflicts to be dealt with in a real, honest way. Why this film was not released with wider theatrical distribution or promoted with the importance of other serious minded films is a mystery to me. This is a well-acted, powerful, yet horrifying story that could happen to anyone and it is dealt with in such careful hands that no matter how bad we want to look away and not witness what is happening on the screen we can hardly justify that decision. More than anything this saddens me because "Trust" is definitely one of the top films I have seen all year and one that has stayed with me even a few days after watching it. The situation, the conflicts it presents and the way it so wrongly scars a young persons life is truly disgusting. Schwimmer has certainly made a mark with his feature debut and I look forward to seeing his work if it is anything near the caliber he has presented here.

Annie (Liana Liberato) is a victim of a horrible
crime in David Schwimmer's "Trust".
With a top of the line cast featuring Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, and Viola Davis we are given the story of Will and Lynn, two caring, protective parents who have three beautiful children. The oldest setting off for college, the youngest just barely into grade school and right in the middle we have 15 year-old Annie. For her birthday and with the prospect of high school just around the corner, Will and Lynn give their daughter a new laptop. This of course opens the possibility for on-line chatting and such. Annie begins a long distance relationship with a supposed young boy that at first seems harmless. With that type of premise in place already we as an audience start to squirm. We know where this is heading and Schwimmer's tone directs our mind in a way that keeps things very natural, very recognizable and that is, what in fact, is the most horrifying part of the whole thing. Annie, as played by newcomer Liana Liberato, is an appealing young girl. An athletic young woman who is excited she has made the volleyball team, who is excited to fit into the "in" crowd and make a rel impression among her new high school peers. The early scenes are written to evoke the normalcy of this families day to day and it works as we get to know Annie as if she was a friend and if you are old enough to be a parent, you begin to recognize her as one of your own. Liberato is a talented young woman and brings the confusion, the warped perspective, and the tragic way in which she thinks she has been in love.

Will (Clive Owen) is a father searching for answers
after his daughter experiences the unthinkable.
The film looks at a sensitive situation, with a very vulnerable young woman at the center of it. What makes this movie so compelling is that we are not only allowed a glimpse into the psyche of this young lady, but we see how much this affects her family, her friends, and her entire world that will ultimately never be the same. The film never allows Owen to go all Liam Neeson on us via "Taken" but it certainly demonstrates a fathers feelings of failure and torment to the point that it is almost unbearable. Owen is at his finest here as a father who cares for his kids yet doesn't realize the world around his perfect suburban existence could be disrupted by such things as sex offenders living down the street. The actor allows this material to fuel his motivation and rather than over-dramatizing what could have been poorly handled melodrama is instead a top-notch performance that deserves more acclaim than it has garnered. Throughout the film, the story takes turns that are to be expected but are again handled with such reality rather than being hammed up for Hollywood that the final result is not only more effective but a more haunting view as to what any parent out there could potentially encounter.

Lynn (Catherine Keener) attempts to comfort her
daughter before she returns to school.
Schwimmer pushes each of his characters to the brink of a feeling that could be described best as loss. Loss for what to do next, where to go after such an incident and loss of options as to what one can do to make mends over the situation. The truth being there is nothing one can really do to fix it, but what truly matters is how we react to it. This voice of reason is brought in the form of Viola Davis, a ray of sunlight on any film she chooses to grace. Though Davis is mostly a supporting if not minor character here, she is the opinion with which these characters and we as an audience are able to feel some type of emotion closest to comfort after going through this awful trauma. "Trust" is a solid film that in lesser hands, both in terms of director and actors, could have easily been a Lifetime movie waiting to happen. Clive Owen and his strong supporting cast are able to pull this from the trenches of melodrama and create an honest, moving film that is not just educational but it conveys honest fear in that we are not able to control everything and that no matter what lengths one goes to to protect their child, that something such as what happened to Annie could happen to anyone. It may not be the feel good movie of the year, but it is certainly one of the few that has made a real impact on me this year.