Betrayal of Trust,” a woman’s point-of-view drama propelled by an absorbing performance from Judith Light, brings depth to that worked-over stereotype — the manipulative, abusive shrink.
Supported by Judd Hirsch’s textured, offbeat portrayal of internationally acclaimed psychiatrist Jules Messerman, who in 1991 was stripped of his right to practice by the American Psychiatric Assn., the telepic intelligently shows the ordeal of the real-life Barbara Noel to expose the doctor’s sexual abuse.
Exceptionally well-scripted by Suzette Couture, the movie peels under the skin of a classy chanteuse (the Noel/Light figure).
Unfolding through a series of flashbacks under the deft direction of George Kaczender, the production manages to turn the overwrought issue of long-suppressed, childhood sexual abuse into substantive subtext.
Besides the Light-Hirsch danse macabre, what most impresses is the movie’s effortless way of gliding over heavy material.
Cloaking the singer’s chronicle is the sleekly coiffed Light’s unusually smart wardrobe and an upper-class Chicago atmosphere of handsome interiors, smoothly captured by production designer Richard Wilcox and cinematographer Laszlo George. Drama’s momentum is also advanced by Stephen Michael’s artful editing.