Film is a visual medium. We go to the theater to “watch” movies. We love to view them on giant screens where every detail is magnified in all its glory. The problem is that so few indie movies can hold up to that magnification. While the story may be powerful, and the actors do a fine job, the picture is often drab and uninspiring. Such is not the case with Trust Fund.

Trust Fund is a beautiful movie. From the opening credits to the final scene, every screenshot is a feast for the eyes. Isaac Alongi is a brilliant cinematographer with an eye for capturing just the right angle for each shot. Of course, it helps to have a well told story, talented cast, and someone to pull it all together. It’s hard to believe this is Sandra Martin’s first feature film to write and direct. She’s obviously a natural at this. Everything about this movie comes across as top notch and professional. Nothing screams amateur.

Trust Fund is a retelling of the prodigal son, but with a modern twist. The lead is Reese (Jessica Rothe), a wealthy young woman used to getting her way. But rather than coming across as a selfish cardboard character, Reese is complex and likeable. We can see her heart, her struggles. Then there’s her sister Audrey (Louise Dylan), the good girl who appears to do everything right. But again, we see her fears and failures. Both actresses are convincing in their roles.

The filmmakers did a wonderful job of capturing the luxury world of the Donahue publishing empire. From the passenger train, private jet, Italian villa, and exotic sports cars, every location is spot on and convincing.

While I was obviously familiar with the original story, Sandra Martin kept it from being stale by providing plenty of plot twists and by continuing the story beyond the return home. It kept me watching, trying to figure out where exactly it was headed. The only disappointment I felt was with the love stories. Three romantic storylines in the movie (well, actually four), and none of them felt convincing to me. They each fell short of what they could have been. We saw the couples together, but with the exception of maybe one scene, we never got to see the sparks, the chemistry, the moments that make a romance what it is. But then, maybe therein lies the problem. Trust Fund has romantic elements in it, but the love story is the B story, not the A story. First and foremost, this is a tale of family and forgiveness, and in that aspect, it definitely excels.

Trust Fund releases to DVD July 18. Be sure to pick up your copy and check it out. You’ll be glad you did!


Full disclosure: We were provided by the filmmakers a copy of this movie for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed here are our own.


About the Author Sharon Wilharm

Christian women’s speaker, Sharon Wilharm, is a ministry leader, podcast host, and female filmmaker whose stories have impacted audiences around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Sharon draws the audience in with humor, engages them with stories, then ties everything together to bring to light spiritual truths. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women in their walk with the Lord, showing them how to find God’s will for their life through prayer and scripture. “God is the Master Storyteller,” says Sharon. “I love helping women see how God is always at work behind the scenes laying the foundation for the glorious future He has in store for us.” Sharon is a firm believer in the power of prayer and has many stories to share of God working in miraculous ways in her own life as well as those around her. She’s passionate about teaching women how to pray and loves engaging with women in personal prayer. Wherever she goes, she finds herself surrounded by women in need of prayer, and she considers it an honor to pray with women whether they’re friends, family, or complete strangers. Sharon has enjoyed a lifelong fascination with women of the Bible and loves applying the biblical stories to modern situations. She teaches a Women Through the Bible study at her church, applying the S.O.A.P. method of scripture study. She especially enjoys delving into lesser known women and discovering encouraging truths for women of today. She recently launched a new podcast where she works her way through the Bible sharing the stories of All God’s Women.

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