TRESPASS AGAINST US
*** (out of 5)
January 20, 2017
Michael Fassbender as CHAD CUTLER
Brendan Gleeson as COLBY CUTLER
Lyndsey Marshal as KELLY CUTLER
Georgie Smith as TYSON CUTLER
Rory Kinnear as P.C. LOVAGE
Directed by: Adam Smith
BY KEVIN CARR
There’s a misconception that many Americans have that the British (and possibly the citizens of various other European countries) are free from poverty. Blame it on the fact that many Americans think a British accent makes someone sound more cultured or educated than an American one – especially an American one that has a bit of a twang to it. However, you don’t even need to visit these other countries, only to look at their art and popular culture to realize that the United States does not have a monopoly on the plight of white trash.
Of course, sometimes the cultural conditions are not exactly what you’d expect, and it becomes an eye-opening experience to see a movie showing the struggles of citizens shackled by their own family’s oppressive habits.
In “Trespass Against Us,” Michael Fassbender plays Chad Cutler, a father living in a caravan community with his extended family. His wife Kelly (Lyndsey Marshal) wishes they could move away from the influence of his family’s criminal activities. However, it’s hard to break those familial ties even when Chad truly wants to.
Fassbender is one of the premiere actors of today, and he lends a great deal of pathos to the film. He’s fiercely loyal to his family – and his father Colby (Brendan Gleeson) in particular. However, he’s acutely away that having been raised in this family, he never got a proper education which has stunted his ability to provide for his nuclear family. This puts him at odds with his wife, who wants to offer her kids something bigger than what they have.
There are plenty of universal themes found in here. After all, every one of us has that weird offshoot of our family trees. You know what I’m talking about? That group of folks that you know are blood-related to you but you also feel ashamed when you have to interact with them? The ones that pride themselves on ignorance and criminal activity? Now imagine if you grew up with them and lived with them in a mobile community bent on running petty crimes and getting into scrapes with the law.
That’s what Chad Cutler faces. And things get worse when his father pushes him into doing one more score, which ends up going all tit’s up (as they’d say across the pond). He finds himself torn between two families he has strong ties to: his wife and kids, and his extended family of criminals keeping him down.
In the end, this is much more of a character examination of Chad and his struggles to rise above his station in life, even when he doesn’t think he deserves it. And it’s about trying to do the right thing in the wake of some very bad influences.
It’s an acting piece, and if you’re a fan of either Fassbender or Gleeson, you should enjoy the performances.