x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Trust

Whom are your children talking to on the internet? Director and former Friends star David Schwimmer plays on a parent's worst fears.

Director: David Schwimmer
Starring: Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Liana Liberato
****

Ross from Friends shows his dark side in this tale about the downside of the internet. For his directorial debut Run Fatboy Run, Schwimmer played to expectations with a broad Simon Pegg comedy.

This time out, he plays on the worst fears of parents about their children's contacts online. Veering away from schlock, Schwimmer provides a thrilling investigation into the psyche of a 14-year-old-girl Annie (Liberato) and how her naive behaviour, wish to rebel and desire to prove that she is no longer a child are exploited online.

Clive Owen and Catherine Keener both give excellent turns as typical parents, Owen protective and judgemental, Keener nurturing and observational.

The benefits and weaknesses of both these approaches to parenting are highlighted when Annie fears for her reputation at school and refuses to acknowledge a crime that has taken place. The only person with a handle on events is a school psychiatrist (Viola Davis).

It's a complex look at the exploitation of children that doesn't look for easy solutions and neither does it pander to the usual movie bailout that things will turn out fine in the end.