Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Best Date Movie Ever: Hard Candy

Saw the movie Hard Candy yesterday at the Angelika. And I had to give a shout cause this one is most definitely hot like fire.

(I wouldn't use the term "blown away." But I'm tempted to use it, because I definitely want you to see it, and I know you disaffected NYC a**holes barely flare a nostril at a recommendation unless someone says they were "blown away.")

I don't think it's knocking Eternal Sunshine out as the current/reigning hot-movie champion though. It's a little niche-y, and a little too unsettling for wearing the crown. Eternal Sunshine, despite its quirkiness, is a nice movie everyone can enjoy. Hard Candy, on the other hand, isn't for everyone.

Along the lines of In The Company Of Men, Tape, and Audition, Hard Candy is a dark, edgy drama, well-written, and very theatrical in its composition. David Slade directs, the script was written by Brian Nelson. Most of the movie takes place in a house, and is focused on the interaction of the two main characters.

For bloggers and/or internet fiends, this movie should be a no-brainer on the premise alone: A 32-year-old guy and a 14-year-old girl meet online, chat it up for a few weeks, and then arrange a face-to-face. The movie details what happened in their meeting. Awwww yeah.

The movie lives or dies with the the performances of the two lead actors, and both knock incredibly challenging roles out of the park.

With the internet-dating, older-guy/under-age girl premise, the material is ripe for exploitation and caricaturizing. But I was probably most struck by how real the movie felt. Both characters are very nuanced, and ultimately morally ambiguous. The good guy/bad guy drama is not a given in this movie, it is a topic for conversation.

Ellen Page is set to break out on the world with this role, plus her spot in the highly anticipated X3 movie. At the time of filming this she was seventeen years old, and quite honestly I still can't believe they found a girl who looks so young, yet is mature enough to handle the material. I didn't think it was possible for anyone to play a fourteen-year-old girl without that god-awful Dakota-Fanning-precociousness. Ellen pulls it off.

Patrick Wilson pulls off the most charming, sympathetic, creepy-internet-guy you'll ever see. Definitely not what you envision when you think of Craigslist Creepies.

It's difficult to say much more without spoiling the film. So I won't. But if you like your films provocative, intense, real ... check this one out. Then check out the interviews below.

Hard Candy [official site]
Interview with David Slade and Brian Nelson [HorrorChannel]
Interview with Ellen Page [CHUD]
Interview with David Slade [ioncinema]
Interview with Patrick Wilson [IGN FilmForce]
More with Nelson and Slade [Cinematical]
Interview with the Number Nine [TAN - unrelated]

6 comments:

  1. Thanks TAN. As someone currently involved in a relationship that started over the Internet (she's 22, mind you), I'll probably find this pretty interesting. Thanks for the knowledge.

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  2. Anonymous4/19/2006

    I consider you someone with their finger on the pulse, so I"m checking it out.

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  3. I'm in TAN. Want to see it again, since you liked it so much?

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  4. Anonymous4/19/2006

    Sounds like a good movie...Last movie I saw was Drawing Restraint 9- has Matthew Barney and Bjork as "actors"...Best to be watched with good friends to avoid shock!

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  5. I wish I was in NY so I can see it...I haven't seen a movie that makes me feel like eternal sunshine did probably since eternal sunshine came out...

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  6. Lauren4/30/2006

    I had to come back and comment since I just saw the movie today (at the Angelica aslo). wow, without even showing anything graphic this made me squirm. supurb acting and yes, I totally fell for Patrick Wilson's character.

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