Trust – When online friendship isn’t as innocent as it seems

Trust - Lianna Liberato

Following his 2007 comedy Run Fatboy Run, Friends star David Schwimmer gets serious with his second film as a director, tackling the hot-button issue of online predators who groom young girls for sex in Trust.

Fourteen-year-old Chicago girl Annie (Liana Liberato) is outwardly popular and confident but inwardly insecure, so she’s delighted when she forms a fast friendship through an internet chatroom with fellow volleyball-playing student ‘Charlie’. Yet as the pair’s online rapport gets more and more intimate, Charlie keeps revealing that he’s just a bit older than he previously claimed.

After the pair’s shocking first encounter, the focus shifts to Annie’s outraged ad-executive father, played by Clive Owen, who can’t deal with what’s happened to his daughter – much to the alarm of wife Catherine Keener.

As the story unfolds, parts of the script are undeniably clunky (the irony of the dad working on an ad campaign that sexualises teens is way too pat), but 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.

Released on DVD & Blu-ray by Lionsgate on 26th August.

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