Combustible Celluloid
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With: Adrienne Shelly, Martin Donovan, Merritt Nelson, John MacKay, Edie Falco, Gary Sauer, Matt Malloy, Suzanne Costollos, Jeff Howard, Karen Sillas, Tom Thon, Patricia Sullivan, Marko Hunt, Kathryn Mederos, Bill Sage
Written by: Hal Hartley
Directed by: Hal Hartley
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 107
Date: 09/09/1990

Trust (1991)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Rely on 'Trust'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Hal Hartley's astringently funny second feature pairs the perfectly matched Maria Coughlin (Adrienne Shelly) and Matthew Slaughter (Martin Donovan), each firing off bits of tasty, sharp dialogue like burned popcorn.

When Maria finds herself pregnant, her father drops dead and her boyfriend leaves her at the same time. Meanwhile, the educated, depressed and occasionally violent Matthew lives with a viciously fastidious father (John MacKay) and won't suffer fools long enough to hang onto a job. These two misfits meet, of course, and the film warms up considerably.

In the early 90s Hartley practically defined the term "quirky," and his uncluttered, direct images seem only to support his tightly drawn characters and deadpan language. An up-and-coming Edie Falco co-stars. Shelly went on to become a director herself before being murdered in 2006.

The last time I saw this movie was on laserdisc. It seems to have been out of print for ages, and it's wonderful to have it back. With the exception of some of Shelley's makeup, it has hardly aged at all. Olive Films has released a new Blu-ray as well as a DVD. The only extra is "Making of Trust" a little featurette that includes interviews with the cast and crew.

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