Hard Candy (18)

Film

Thrillers

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Time Out says

Tue Jun 13 2006

Somewhere in cyberspace, Thonggrrrl14 is arranging a real world assignation with Lensman319. Later, they both try to play it cool while not quite disguising their anticipation, as conversation inevitably leads to an invitation back to his house. She’s 14 by the way, he’s two decades her senior, with a penchant for photographing teenage models semi-dressed. Just when the idea of where this is going starts to get rather uncomfortable, a major plot reversal whisks the story in the opposite direction, equally squirm-worthy – especially for the men in the audience.

As scripted by playwright Brian Nelson, this virtual two-hander is an obvious provocation, setting the sexualisation of youth culture in collision with the sickness of paedophilia, and there’s some pointed and passionate writing here. Unfortunately, it comes packaged in an increasingly lurid, credibility-free storyline, delivered with unstinting insensitivity by a first-time director determined to show off his ad-man’s box of visual tics. In the circumstances, the actors are remarkable: Patrick Wilson offering courageous exposure of an addled soul, Ellen Page bravura beyond her years. A shame the grandstanding final reel fails them.
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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Jun 16, 2006

Duration:

99 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Holmes, Sandra Oh, Ellen Page

Music:

Harry Escott, Molly Nyman

Production Designer:

Jeremy Reed

Cinematography:

Jo Williams

Producer:

Michael Caldwell, Richard Hutton, David W Higgins

Screenwriter:

Brian Nelson

Director:

David Slade

Editor:

Art Jones

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
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jimbo

I watched as much of this as I could stand. The plot is contrived beyond belief, painfully stretches what could be told in 10 minutes to 90, and features a thoroughly obnoxious teenager given a script more appropriate for someone about 35 (no offense to Ms. Page).

James Cameron

This film has an excellent concept. However, the brash and insensitive handling of the subject matter and the contrived leap for the paedophile character from victim to arch-villain neuters what could have been a truly disturbing and thought-provoking film

yduric

A very good, wicked cat-and-mouse game: although, as a man, I also unconsciously crossed my legs and ocasionally pitied the sexual predator, as the film progressed, and when his true nature fully emerged towards the end, I found the girl's revenge more understandable and even justified. Moreover, I also think that beyond the obvious subject of paedophilia, this film can be viewed more generally as a metaphor of the 'exploitation of the weak by the strong' and the consequences it can somtimes inevitably lead to.

yduric

A very good, wicked cat-and-mouse game: although, as a man, I also unconsciously crossed my legs and ocasionally pitied the sexual predator, as the film progressed, and when his true nature fully emerged towards the end, I found the girl's revenge more understandable and even justified. Moreover, I also think that beyond the obvious subject of paedophilia, this film can be viewed more generally as a metaphor of the 'exploitation of the weak by the strong' and the consequences it can somtimes inevitably lead to.