Thumped’s Random DVD Trip: Wherein we enter the Xtravision across the road and grab the first couple of things that appear in the shelf.
This week we’ll be going at Trust, which is taking American Indie back from scribbling, unshaven halfwits with mixtapes and tweeness, and Rewind, which is Irish and therefore must be awful. Read on to find out more.
In Trust Clive Owen is some well heeled, upper middle class type in a massive house, with a perfect family, a doting wife, Patti Smith apparently (Catherine Keener used to be cool, right?), mega-great kids, an iTunes account, etc. He’s a terrific boss, regardless of the fact that as he is an advertising executive he is a minion of the devil. He still has his British (never English) accent too, and despite having lived in America town long enough to have a kid gong to college, he adorably still calls French fries “chips”. As a set up, the first 15 minutes are remarkable. There’s nothing the audience wants more than for this sickeningly perfect house of cards to collapse under the weight of some violence or trauma. So much so, we’ll wade in on the side of whatever paedophile happens along. Because that’s what happens. America’s children are under threat. I think Apple are to blame in some way.
Much like Ben Affleck, that other acting gonk turned gonk in the chair, director David Schwimmer has chosen the emotive minefield of child abuse as a the motif for this, his second real movie (remember Run Fatboy Run? God, that was fucking muck). It’s guaranteed to get the tongues wagging. Everyone hates a paedo. Young Annie, Clive’s middle child, who at first seems intelligent, is groomed on the internet by a shifty fingered crooner, who lies about his age until they meet and it turns out he’s actually Luke Skywalker and is somewhere in his early seventies. This doesn’t stop Annie for embarking on a series of bad decisions so bafflingly stupid, one wonders if her parents have ever spoken to her about the real world. Maybe, as it’s rich, white, suburban America, they just warned her against the Landos of the world. The leather faced, blue eyed, blonde haired volleyball champs are okay, in all circumstances. So dumb is this girl, it’s almost a shame she doesn’t end up covered in duct tape and suspended from a hook in a basement somewhere meaning Clive gets to do his gravelly-toned hard man routine, pushing his wife to one side as he opens the safe and extracts the gun that he’s previously never even loaded before, stopping at nothing to get his little girl back. That would be a cliché, right? Schwimmer is well aware of that. This doesn’t happen. What we’re left with is some kind of Suburban Cassavetes-lite. When did “real people” in America stop solving their problems with guns?
Clive Owen is lucky. He’s now one of those actors vaunted enough in Hollywood to be able to use his own accent in every movie, and has the added boon of not even having to act in this one. His performance is all me, me, me, in the way of the alpha male who’s not had his muffin basket that morning. His daft daughter, hitherto a simpering simpleton, takes time out to explain the entire premise of the movie to us in one scene, which is just as well, because we the audience are idiots, right? It helps that the word Trust is uttered repeatedly by the characters too, otherwise we might get really lost. I mean, it’s deep, like Ross and Rachel being on a break deep. Schwimmer has had some serious schooling in verity, and it shows.
Rewind has a similar theme, wherein Amy Huberman has it all, the Celtic Tiger dream, the big house, an Aston Martin, a well adjusted child, a drippy husband who clearly earns but has to grow a beard to cover up the fact he appears to be about 17. But she has a dirty past. We know this because she has a Dubberlin accent. Like an oligarch with a football club, someone with a Dubberlin accent isn’t going to live in a house like this one unless some people along the way had to suffer. And so it is; her ex boyfriend turns up on the scene, mercifully early so we don’t have to go through the same happy family shit we did in Trust, and it slowly is revealed that Amy indeed has a past, replete with demons, booze and grubby encounters in shady hotels.
Her ex, Karl, is utterly unpleasant, perhaps because he too has a Dubberlin accent, one that’s unsoftened by suburban living and air conditioned cars. He’s been in prison for a while (since 1995, judging by his hair cut), which is probably why he’s still using VHS cassettes as an extortion tool. I’m surprised she doesn’t return the tape with note attached: cannot open file, please resend, so thoroughly modern is she. Amy must now go on a journey, both actual and allegorical, with Karl, and come to terms with the past she has tried so hard to put behind her.
The problem with Rewind is that it’s not utter shit. You know the way, the way we all want Irish films to be shit, especially when we spy someone we used to go to school with standing around in the background. It’s a triumph of the Celtic tiger spirit, and the new Ireland, the fuck them that didn’t make it attitude that will see all straight in the end. Amy will let nothing get in her way when her perfect, manicured, polished life is threatened. Keeping the bay windows and the motor are for more important than having to accept any responsibility for what you’ve done, especially as you can get down on your knees and beg some kind of Death Forgiveness. The classic rags to riches and fuck you pal, I’m not going there story.