Fine Ensemble Acting, Ham-Handed Social Commentary in Trust

Do you know who your kids are texting? Annie (Liana Liberato) is a typical 14-year-old suburbanite. Reading her instant-message conversations on-screen, the viewer is clued in to a secret life that her parents (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener) barely suspect—an ongoing, increasingly intimate correspondence with a boy in California who keeps confessing he’s slightly older than he’d confessed to being before. Annie sneaks off and meets still-older-than-she’d-expected Charlie (Chris Henry Coffey). The rest of the movie recounts the aftermath of their encounter. There is some ham-handed social commentary on the sexualizing of tweens by contemporary media: Annie and her best friend practice bump-and-grind music-video dance steps; ad exec Dad is seen working on a thinly disguised American Apparel-–style cradle-robbing campaign. 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. Keener is the voice of reason, very funny during her deadpanning when she discovers her sleepless husband baiting chatrooms as “sadlilgirl.” Liberato buries Annie so deeply under an armor of ugly teenage spite that her sudden emergence is quite effective. Owen is consumed by worthless anger and vengeance; while tucking in his daughter, you almost expect him to smother her.

 
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