Hard Candy

Film, Drama

Time Out says

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.

By: Trevor Johnston



Release details

Release date:
Friday June 16 2006
99 mins

Cast and crew

David Slade
Brian Nelson
Patrick Wilson
Ellen Page
Sandra Oh
Jennifer Holmes
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