Saturday, July 30, 2011

821. TRUST (1990)

Running Time: 107 minutes
Directed By: Hal Hartley
Written By: Hal Hartley
Main Cast: Adrienne Shelly, Martin Donovan, Merritt Nelson, John MacKay, Edie Falco


Taking a small respite from the "Spielberg Week" festivities tonight, I turned to the streaming portion of Netflix to watch a film that is only available for another day or two - "Trust". Otherwise, at least as far as I can tell, it's seemingly a very hard to find flick, so I needed to watch it while I had the chance.

Maria Coughlin (Shelly) is having a bad day. As the film opens she's having an argument with her father, regarding her recent departure from high school. The confrontation between the two ends with Maria slapping her father and him dropping over of a heart attack two seconds later. Pile on to that the fact that she's pregnant and her boyfriend wants nothing to do with her and it's pretty much the worst day ever! Meanwhile, Matthew Slaughter is having a bad life. His mother died while giving birth to him and he lives with his father, who resents him for that fact. He hates his job, where he repairs electronics and when we meet him, he's squeezing his boss' head in a vice and quitting. The two unfortunate souls happen to meet and what do you know, they spark up a little relationship. At first, it's simply an "I'm a loser, you're a loser, so let's be friends" situation, but it turns romantic and soon Matthew is offering to marry Maria and build a family with her and the child she's expecting.

This one was really hard to get a grasp on and I have a feeling that I'm gonna' have a hard time putting my thoughts on this one in words. For starters, the characters are all over the place and it's really hard to get a handle on where they're coming from. At times, I was scratching my head and wondering what the motives and motivations of these characters were. They just didn't seem to have any personality and the personality that they did have was completely psychotic and unnatural. Martin Donovan is great, as I enjoyed his work in the series "Weeds" and I've seen him here and there and he always kind of reminded me of Jeff Bridges (a favorite of mine). He's good here too, but the character that he's expected to bring to life is just out there and it's hard to say whether he delivered a stellar performance or a poor one. In fact, it was hard to get a grasp on this whole film, not just the characters. What was the purpose of the story? What message was Hartley trying to convey? Did our characters learn lessons? Did anything of any real note happen? I should be able to answer these questions, seeing as how I just watched this movie, but it's such an off the wall tale that it's hard to gauge.

I will say that the dialogue is incredibly snappy and well written and there's some definite quotables in there, swimming around. But what are our characters really doing or saying? In retrospect, it just seems that the tale spent nearly two hours and got nothing accomplished. Nothing of any real note happened and it was simply a string of amusing scenes and fresh dialogue that didn't seem to really lead anywhere. It's a hard one for me to describe, because on one hand it made good use of it's time and flowed along nicely never dragging, but on the other hand it was kind of dull and pointless. I could see myself revisiting this one someday and really digging it or I could see myself remembering back and thinking how terrible it was. Like I said, it's just a hard film to get a grasp on.

RATING: 6/10 I had a rough time rating this one. I'll revisit it in a few days for my July recap and maybe I can refine and define that rating a little better, but for now I'll go with a safe '6'.


July 29, 2011 9:58pm

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps this says something about this film..
    When I passed by it on your list, my thought was.. 'Oh, thats one not in my edition'. But I spotted it today, and I have seen it, bmoderatly recently, in 2009. So that one really made an impression then..
    Stretching my mind.. yes, I think I can summon up bits of it. I'd seen 'Unbelievable truth', and quite liked it, and found thgis one a dissapointment. I just didn't feel in tune with any one, didn't really care either.. I guess thats pretty much what you said as well.


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