- Director: Lynn Shelton
- Writer: Lynn Shelton; Michael Patrick O'Brien
- Producer: Peter Gilbert; Molly M. Mayeux; Joe Swanberg; Lynn Shelton
A lesbian couple inherit an old sword from the Civil war...how exciting!?! Anyway, they don't want the thing...so, off to the pawn shop, they go, to sell it! But...the excitement mounts...this ain't no ordinary sword, this here sword has history! Can it get more exciting! Absolutely not!
Throw in an utterly ridiculous 'conspiracy theory' [of how the 'South' actually won the Civil war] and endless and - usually - pointless jibbering-and-jabbering...this film is all talk and more talk...sometimes, once in a while, it's a luxury to be shown something rather than being told...over and over again. Take out the repetition and the Sword of Trust would be slashed by a significant amount of inches minutes.
The writers [the director being one]...must love double acts...this film is stuffed full of them...there's the pawn-broker and his goofy assistant, the lesbian couple with clashing personalities, a couple of confederate rednecks without a brain-cell between them...with all these DAs...this has got to be a comedic gem...nope! These senses-of-humour are as 'acquired' as you can get!
This double-bladed sword delivered neither the comedy nor the drama...it was all blunt, blabbering bluster. And, pray tell, what was that ending all about?!?
On the internet, value, as well as beauty, is in the hand of the sword-holder-a truth exploited by the ensemble of characters that inhabit the small-town Southern world of this latest comic gem from Seattle native Lynn Shelton. The titular McGuffin of this shaggy-dog story is an old Civil War sword inherited by lesbian couple Cynthia (Jillian Bell) and Mary (Michaela Watkins), who seek the advice of Alabama pawnshop owner Mel (comedian and podcaster Marc Maron). Disbelieving the claims of Cynthia's grandfather that the sword had been offered in surrender-by the U.S. Army-Mel offers a paltry $400.
However, after some digging through the web's shadier conspiracy-theory websites, Mel's dim assistant (Jonathan Bass) uncovers potential buyers who insist the South secretly won the Civil War, and who might be willing to part with 100 times Mel's offer. Thus begins a farcical odyssey into the underbelly of Southern paranoia and revisionist history. Using her signature improv-style directing technique, Shelton lets her actors react naturalistically to the outlandish situations they encounter, including nefarious backwoods characters who covet the chance to own proof of their own delusions. Full of caustic but never mean-spirited wit, Shelton's Sword of Trust could be called her uproarious, goofy response to the rise of MAGA culture in America.