The Bad and the Beautiful? The Player? Hollywoodland? Take your choice, or just fill in your own favorite "Hollywood" movie here. Seems like every decade or two, along comes one of those inside-the-industry films that sticks. Such a one is TRUST ME, the new "inside" movie written and directed by and starring Clark Gregg, a fellow most of us have seen and enjoyed, usually in smaller roles that he fills out graciously and fully. Not anymore. This film should put Mr. Gregg, shown above and below, on the "star" map. He's clearly a force with which we must now reckon.
Paul Sparks, below), doesn't care so much for our guy.
Molly Shannon), parents, filmmakers, actors, agents (Sam Rockwell in a small but choice role), studio people (large and small: that's Allison Janney, below, dishing up as only she can serve it), right to the big-cheese woman producer, or maybe she's a studio head (the kind of subtle and then ferocious performance from Felicity Huffman, that will cause male audience member's dicks to shrink) who clearly calls all the shots.
Altman's Player. If you want that, go elsewhere. Oh, there is plenty of cynicism here, but it's matched with feeling and yearning and especially love -- for what the industry always promises but seldom delivers. "Trust me," though a much used phrase/command, is a fine title for this film because that's what every character here is saying, out loud or implicitly, though to a man and woman, they all have unbridled self-interest entirely at heart. Only Howard -- and a couple of other characters we meet (his lovely neighbor, played by Amanda Peet, above, is one of these) -- seem to be able to occasionally rise above this.
Saxon Sharbino, above, into delivering the kind of acting everyone wants. We view Howard's dream again later, as we learn his history, and understand what this early success meant to him.
Starz Digital Media, the movie is showing now via VOD and iTunes, and will hit theaters on Friday, June 6.