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TRUST ME – TFF 2013 Movie Review

© 2013 Unified Pictures

trust me
© 2013 Unified Pictures

TFF 2013
USA | Narrative | 2013
WORLD PREMIERE: April 20, 2013

GENRES: Comedy, Drama
RUNNING TIME: 90 min.

CAST: Clark Gregg, Saxon Sharbino, Amanda Peet,
Paul Sparks, Sam Rockwell, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney

DIRECTOR: Clark Gregg

Trust Me – TFF 2013 Film Guide....Facebook....IMDb

Grade
★★★★☆

Writer/director Clark Gregg‘s second feature film is a thoroughly cynical look at the world of child actors and the industry that treats them like expendable pawns.

Inevitably alienating producers and parents with his inexorable commitment to his clients’ financial and emotional interests, youth talent agent Howard Holloway (Gregg) is perpetually down on his luck. After losing a client to his longtime rival Aldo (Sam Rockwell), Howard unexpectedly stumbles upon a new prospect: Lydia (Saxon Sharbino), a tremendously talented—and currently unrepresented—fourteen-year-old. Determined to succeed for once in his life, Howard resolves to do whatever it takes to build Lydia’s career and to protect her from her mercurial—and frequently intoxicated—father Ray (Paul Sparks). But, when this task proves infinitely more complicated than he ever could have imagined, Howard must decide what’s more important: personal principles or professional success?

Trust Me’s immensely talented cast also includes Amanda Peet, Felicity Huffman, and Allison Janney, with appearances by Molly Shannon, Niecy NashGriffin Gluck, and William H. Macy.

trust me
Photo Credit: Shawna Ankenbrandt. © 2013 Unified Pictures

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Playing to the darker sides of human nature, Huffman does despicable extraordinarily well, while Sparks adeptly balances emotional volatility against the strange and forceful control Sharbino’s character has over his. Peet’s frank and witty one-liners add some much needed levity to the film’s dark tones.

Relative newcomer Saxon Sharbino is simply marvelous. A force to be reckoned with, Sharbino’s screen presence is not diminished by any of her many strong scene partners. Her fundamentally twisted ‘Lydia’ shows a true flair for emotional manipulation, rivaling the iconic likes of The Bad Seed’s Rhoda (Patty McCormack) and Jawbreaker’s Courtney (Rose McGowan).

From its strong performances and darkly-witty dialogue, to its tragically-twisty plot construction and goosebumps-inducing denouement, Trust Me is inventive and impressive. Though he’ll probably be busy with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a while, here’s hoping Gregg takes up the writer/director’s mantle again soon.

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The Author

Sarah Katz

Sarah Katz

Born-and-bred New Yorker. Lifelong film & TV lover—from chick flicks, rom-coms, rom-droms, rom-drams, and tweentertainment, to Shakespeare, period pieces, James Bond, fairy tales, and mafia movies.