David Schwimmer’s powerful movie is very much a labour of love that should resonate with every parent and teenager in some way
A hard-hitting look at the dangers posed by internet predators, as witnessed by a family whose lives are torn apart by the grooming and eventual rape of their teenage daughter, the film stems from Schwimmer’s decade-long involvement with Santa Monica’s Rape Foundation and a story he heard from an invited speaker.
Newcomer Liana Liberato gives a strong performance as the 14-year-old at the centre of proceedings, while Clive Owen tugs at the heartstrings as the father who subsequently experiences conflicted emotions of guilt, rage and impotence as he struggles to deal with the aftermath.
Schwimmer’s script, co-written with Andy Bellin, isn’t perfect and sometimes feels like it’s trying to say too much, especially by allowing Owen’s character to also be an advertising exec whose latest campaign involves the sexual objectification of teen girls. Catherine Keener’s mother also feels under-written.
But as a sobering reminder of the dangers posed by the internet and the effect such crimes have on people’s lives, this is thought-provoking cinema that accomplishes most of its objectives, right down to its incredibly poignant penultimate scene.
Selected release from Fri 22 Jul.