I could not help agree with the comment made by one of the members of the RBC Film Club that this seasons films are even more diverse and varied than usual and David Schwimmers second project as director Trust (2010), his debut was the 2007 comedy Run Fatboy Run, is certainly different from what you would expect from the star of the American TV comedy series Friends. The films central character is an insecure Chicago schoolgirl called Annie Cameron who receives a laptop from her father on her 14th birthday. It's on this Apple Mac that she is groomed, which in turn leads to her being raped after agreeing to meet her internet predator and accompanying him to a motel room. Schwimmer sets out to show not only the effects of the rape on Annie but on her family. The 14 year old Liana Liberato gives a outstanding performance as Annie Cameron, British actor Clive Owen does a convincing job of portraying Annie's father Will, a man who quite understandably gets his priorities wrong following his daughters rape. The award winning Catherine Keener gives her normal workman like performance as Annie's mother, Lynn.
A very enjoyable and informative introduction was given by Pat Pickering who firstly pointed out that even the critics and film reviewers could not agree and gave completely differing opinions on Monday nights film and it would be interesting to see what the Film Club thought of the movie? Pat went on to inform us that David Schwimmer has a personal interest in the subject matter, as he is an active director of the Rape Treatment Centre in Santa Monica, California, which specialises in helping victims of date rape and child rape. He has also campaigned for legislation to ban so-called “date-rape” drugs. The script was written by Andy Bellin and Robert Festinger based on a play written by Bellin and David Schwimmer first performed in 2010 at the Looking Glass Theatre Company in Chicago.
|Mum and Dad.|
Pat pointed out that the film raises many issues, including where to draw the line between fostering independence and protecting children from harm, and also raised the question, as the director did, if your teenager mistook “grooming” (internet or otherwise) for “love” how would you deal with it as a parent? In America the film has an “R” rating, which means viewers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and even in the UK, the film has a 15 certificate. Which was one of the points raised in the lively discussion that followed.
The film divided the audience, with the younger members arguing that the film did not get it's intended message across, with the older members disagreeing. As the director treated this upsetting subject in a non exploitative manner a lesser certificate could have benefited a much younger audience. Generally it was agreed that the film was powerful, emotional and the actors well cast. But watching the film from a parents viewpoint, was very uncomfortable and I know that for many of us a very hard watch. The only thing that spoilt the film was the ending, I understand that American audience's demand closure but I could not see the point of extending the film beyond the scene with Annie and her father in a reconcilable hug in their garden.