English German
Quick Links

The opinions, comments and viewpoints expressed in articles are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the webmaster.

All press articles are still under copyright from the original source and provided for entertainment purposes and research only. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for your own purposes beyond the 'fair use' exception, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

» Eye for Film Review - Hard Candy

Reviewed by Jennie Kermode

When 32-year-old photographer Jeff (Patrick Wilson) meets eager 14-year-old Hayley (Ellen Page) in a cyber cafe, events quickly escalate, apparently beyond the girl's control. Soon, they're back at his place, cocktails are being consumed and Hayley is stripping off for a photoshoot. But Jeff is not the only one with an ulterior motive. Unexpectedly passing out, he awakens to find himself tied to a chair. Hayley is looking for information about a girl who disappeared from the same location and she's prepared to go to considerable lengths to get it.

Building confidently upon its central twist, Hard Candy is a strong two-hander, stagy by nature but nevertheless making effective use of the cinematic medium. Its similarity to Ariel Dorfman's Death And The Maiden invites unfavourable comparisons, but for the most part it stands up well. The urgent dialogue and continual motion of the characters grip the viewer's attention, even during those parts of the plot where the outcome is a little too easy to predict.

Audience sympathy is nicely balanced between the two, with the sheer horror of what is happening to Jeff inviting pity even as the case for his defence grows weaker and we learn more unsavoury things about him.

If the film has a major weakness, it is that we never get to learn much about Hayley. All the emotional weight on her side comes from a set of issues, rather than an involving display of emotion. She's just a little too confident to really engage, although this is by no means the fault of Page, who turns in a thoroughly convincing performance. The chemistry between the actors is intense, adding a powerful edge to early scenes of flirtation and later scenes of violence. It is this that really makes the movie work.

Despite the subject matter, which most viewers will approach with their minds made up, Hard Candy does a fairly good job of exploring the moral issues surrounding vigilante action, losing its way only toward the end with a twee speech, which might easily be made by a teenager.

Hayley's red hooded jacket is also a step too far and cannot help but recall shrewder handling of these issues in Nicole Kassel's The Woodsman. Nevertheless, this is an extremely accomplished piece of filmmaking, hard-hitting and intelligent and deserving of a wide audience.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Source: www.eyeforfilm.co.uk

Printerfriendly version · Read 3111 times

Last Update: 02/20/2020 Twitter  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram  Tumblr  Privacy Policy GDPR  HiStats  Facebook Group Ellen Page Fans © 2006-2020 TeamEPO
news ellenpage career media interact site web fancorner profile biography quotes factsandtrivia faqs filmography demoreel awards charity otherprojects gallery videoclips audioclips messageboard fanarts fanlisting guestbook links listedat affiliates aboutepo changelog contact epofaqs legalnotice