Day #206: Hard Candy (2005)


[From IMDb:] A teenage girl raids a man’s home, suspecting he is a pedophile, in order to expose him.

My take:

Hard Candy is one of the many reasons that I will always give a movie starring Ellen Page a chance. She just does such an amazing job in this movie that a) I know she can handle heavy material with aplomb, and b) even if she’s just doing a movie for the money, I’m down with supporting her career. Which is not something I would say about many actors.

It’s also apparent to me that Hard Candy might seem like a weird fit for this blog, but: it’s a psychological thriller that deals with predatory behaviour (on multiple levels); and it’s about the exacting of revenge with the use of violence. Essentially, it deals with a lot of the same themes as the horror genre, but in a more cerebral manner. Kind of like how Under the Skin is a movie about a serial killer alien that doesn’t feel anything like a movie about a serial killer alien.

Plus, I think it’s a brilliant movie. So there’s that.

Part of what makes Hard Candy so good is the way that it presents its audience with two characters who’re undoubtedly in the wrong, and leaves it up to each of us to make our own decisions about where we draw the moral line. There are occasions where it’s a bit heavy handed in how it handles its themes, particularly in some of its more preachy moments of dialogue; but, for the most part, the interplay between Hayley (Ellen Page) and Jeff (Patrick Wilson) is presented in such a minimalist fashion that I found myself so engrossed by what’s going on between them that I can forgive a few seconds of heavy handedness here and there. They’re a small price to pay for what is otherwise a fantastic movie.

I’m with Jeff Lebrecque on this one: if sequels have to be the it thing, then let’s make Hard Candy 2. As long as Ellen Page is involved, that is.

I’ll even forgive her character for saying that she fucking hates Goldfrapp. We all make mistakes when we’re young.


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