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» Independent Critics Review - Hard Candy

Ellen Page books her spot as one of the new elite actresses with a firecracker performance in this gut-wrenching thriller.
by TC Candler, published on Thursday, August 2, 2007 23:09:03

One of the most pitch perfect jobs of casting in film history exists within "Hard Candy", an edgy thriller that deserves to reach an audience outside that of the indie theatre circuit. If you haven't found this film in theatres or on DVD, make sure to set aside a rental night with friends and family -- it is sure to create extreme tension & lively discussion.

The pitch perfect casting is that of Ellen Page, a superb young actress whose features are pure and innocent, trustworthy and amiable. Her character, however, may not be as lovely as her outward persona. She plays Hayley, a very young girl seemingly being seduced by an online predator.

That predator is Jeff, an artsy photographer played by Patrick Wilson -- his role is powerful and authentic, one that is every bit the equal to Page's tour-de-force.

The film is essentially a two character play, set in one house, as Hayley and Jeff meet for the first time after numerous flirtatious instant message chats.

The dialogue flows back and forth, entirely natural and full of innuendo and double-entendres. It is some of the best writing in any film this year. The couple dance around the issues at the forefront of all of our minds, circling ever closer to the ultimate subjects... age and sex.

"Hard Candy" delicately circumnavigates the lurid possibilities until the character's intentions become vividly clear almost half way through the film. After that, it switches gears and becomes a visceral thriller with some horrific psychological torture and threatening confrontation. It will have you chomping the fingernails ferociously.

The film raises significant questions about vigilante justice and the dangers of the internet for young girls. "Hard Candy" is an important film and a tremendously exciting one too. I highly recommend it to the millions of you who didn't get to hear about it in the limited marketing scheme.

Grade: B+

Source: www.independentcritics.com

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