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"I'll marry you if you admit that respect, admiration and trust equal love."
Trust (1990) - 10/10
As a filmmaker, Hal Hartley will forever divide audiences due to his unique story-telling style, dead-pan humour and tendency to favour words over action. His themes are often subtle and can take more than one viewing to fully understand or appreciate. Something which, understandably, can put off many.
But whether you adore his style or think it to be moronic, no-one can deny that he is and always will be an inspired writer and director. A director who has influenced many and will continue to do so, I am sure, for years to come. Now I fall into the category of adoration and I believe 'Trust' to be his finest work.
'Trust' focuses on the coming together of two characters. Maria Coughlin, a pregnant high-school dropout who has just been the cause of her fathers fatal heart attack, and Matthew Slaughter, an intellectual loner who still lives with his sadistic father. Sound like a standard, if a bit over the top, romance? You couldn't be more wrong.
What makes Hartley's films so special, and 'Trust' is no exception, are the characters he manages to create. Though the situations they get into and the characters around them are nothing short of surreal, the way the react to each situation and deal with very serious issues could not be more realistic.
A huge reason for this is his dialogue. Reminiscent of early Richard Linklater or Godard, his flowing, straight to the point script has you hooked from the word go. Fantastically direct delivery from both Shelley and Donovan allow this dialogue to shine and have you believe you these characters are friends you have known for years.
In 'Trust' I believe Hartley has created one of the most earnest romances ever to be filmed. Utterly believable and almost heartbreakingly beautiful, this is certainly not a film to be missed.