The mantle of social relevance can be a heavy one, but "Trust," a smooth drama about a girl's seduction and rape by a middle-aged Internet predator, is neither preachy nor hysterically overreaching.
Afterschool Special stuff, but the ensemble rings quite true in their coping processes, as director David Schwimmer proves adept at tracking rogue emotions that no closing Ordinary People clench can satisfactorily resolve.
The script is blaring and obvious at all times, and in his second directorial effort, David Schwimmer doesn't have a clue how dull it is for the audience to endure scene after scene of anguish, crying and screaming matches.
Unfortunately, this well-acted cautionary tale is hampered by a lack of visual finesse and a script (by Andy Bellin and Robert Festinger) in need of a narrative rethink and a dialogue polish.
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Schwimmer directs with sensitivity and restraint, and gets excellent performances from his cast. Owen pulls off some heart-wrenching scenes, although it's Liberato's revelatory performance as the emotionally confused teen that holds the film together.
Schwimmer's matter-of-factness becomes a dose of bald reality in the second half of the film... two scenes of concentrated fury and anguish... are among Owen's best work ever.