Trust (2010 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Schwimmer|
|Produced by||Avi Lerner
|Written by||Andy Bellin
|Story by||David Schwimmer (uncredited)|
|Music by||Nathan Larson|
|Editing by||Douglas Crise|
Dark Harbor Stories
|Distributed by||Millennium Films|
|Running time||105 minutes|
The film is about a teenage girl who becomes a victim of sexual abuse when she befriends a man on the Internet.
Fourteen-year-old Annie Cameron lives in suburban Chicago. She enjoys a healthy relationship with her family. On her birthday, her parents give her a laptop. She is rather naive in respect of some of the ways in which the Internet can be harmful. When she meets Charlie in an online chat room, she establishes an instant connection with him. At first, Charlie states that he is sixteen years old. Over time, as the two bond by sending phone text messages and through instant messaging, he bumps his age up to 20, then 25. Annie is taken aback at first, but then dismisses these concerns. Her parents are not aware of her infatuation, or the threat Charlie poses, and Annie even deceives them a bit, as she continues the on-line relationship, not wanting to end things with him under the belief that they are in love.
After two months of communicating electronically, Charlie invites Annie to meet him at the mall. While her parents are dropping off Annie's brother at college, Annie goes to the mall and awaits her first face-to-face meeting with Charlie. When he appears, she discovers he is significantly older than he presented himself to be, appearing to be in his late thirties or early forties. Annie is upset about his having lied about his age, but still spends time with him after he compliments and sweet-talks her and convinces her to ignore their age difference, even to the point of driving to a motel with him. Despite the fact that Annie is a minor, Charlie has her model lingerie and proceeds to inappropriately touch her. He soon coaxes her onto the bed and coerces her into having sex with him. He secretly films what he does to Annie. Back at home Annie is quiet and disengaged.
At school, Brittany, Annie's best friend, deduces Annie had sex, as she had seen her and Charlie that day at the mall. Brittany is concerned about this and notifies the school administration. The police arrive and depart with Annie, drawing unwanted attention from fellow students at her high school. These actions initiate an FBI investigation. The FBI have Annie contact Charlie, in an attempt to identify him, but he figures out the ruse and breaks off contact with her before the FBI can trace his location. Annie's father, Will, starts his own obsessive investigation, taking up the services of a private investigation firm in New Jersey. He even steals a collection of his daughter's chat conversations with Charlie from the FBI. His relationship with his daughter and his wife Lynn begins to deteriorate, and he questions his work at an advertising firm, which uses provocative advertisements involving teenagers.
When Will tells his boss that his daughter was sexually assaulted, his boss is shocked but becomes dismissive when told that Annie knew the man and went willingly to the hotel, saying "it could have been a lot worse." Annie, still believing Charlie loves her, is angry at Brittany for not keeping her relationship with Charlie secret, and she is livid at her parents for making her betray him and for forbidding her to contact him anymore. A few more days pass, and although Charlie has not been identified, DNA evidence proves he has behaved in the same manner with other young girls who reported it to the police. Annie is devastated because she thought she was special, the only girl in his life. After seeing pictures of the other girls, she feels betrayed, and she finally admits to herself, and to her hospital counselor, that she was raped.
The next day, Annie tries to move on with her life by participating in her school's volleyball game. There, Will sees a man in the crowd. Not only is he taking pictures of the girls in the game, but he also is one of the local registered sex offenders a private New Jersey investigation firm provided him pictures with. An irate Will interrupts the game in order to confront the man. He beats him to the floor, causing a scene. A girl in the game reveals the man to be her father. The assaulted man chooses not to press charges for fear that he will be outed to his family. Will apologizes to the man but Annie feels humiliated. At home, Annie confronts her father. Annie insists that she wants to move on with her life. She believes that Will does not fully appreciate her position as the victim.
Annie hears from Brittany about a website in which people are belittling the fact that she was raped and posting photo manipulations of her in pornographic poses. This pushes her over the edge. At home, she locks herself in the bathroom and attempts suicide by overdosing with pills, but is saved by her father. Brittany spends the night to keep her company, mending their broken friendship. Annie wakes up early the next day, and discovers her father sitting outside in the freezing cold weather. She approaches him, asking if he is all right. Will begins talking to her, reminiscing about the first time she ever got in the family pool, and how brave she was to do it. He tells her that she used to be confident, and nothing frightened her. He admired the way she loved the world and trusted the people in it and how now all that has changed. He weeps and pleads for forgiveness even though he believes he does not deserve it. Annie starts to cry and then embraces him.
As the credits roll, a home video reveals Charlie to be a high school physics teacher named Graham Weston, a married father with a young son.
- Clive Owen as Will Cameron
- Catherine Keener as Lynn Cameron
- Liana Liberato as Annie Cameron
- Viola Davis as Gail Friedman, a hospital counselor
- Jason Clarke as Doug Tate, an FBI agent
- Chris Henry Coffey as Charlie/Graham Weston
- Noah Emmerich as Al Hart, Will's boss
- Spencer Curnutt as Peter, Annie's older brother
- Aislinn Debutch as Katie Cameron, Annie's younger sister
- Zoe Levin as Brittany, Annie's best friend
Trust received positive reviews from critics. As of June 2012, the film has a 77% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 43 reviews; the consensus "Director David Schwimmer gets some gut-wrenching performances out of his actors but he still lacks the chops to fully ratchet up story tension."
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four stars out of four, calling Liberato's performance "remarkable", while praising it as "one of the year’s best films: Powerfully emotional, yes, but also very perceptive."
The film performed very poorly at the box office, earning only $120,000 out of its $4,000,000 budget.