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THE MOVIE: Hard Candy

Patrick Wilson • Ellen Page
DIRECTOR: David Slade

Jeff Kohlver (Patrick Wilson) and Hayley Stark (Ellen Page) THE CONCEPT:
A charming 14-year-old girl Hayley (Page) goes to a coffee shop to meet Jeff (Wilson), a 30-something photographer she met on the Internet. Soon she’s at Jeff’s place mixing drinks and stripping for an impromptu photo shoot – but it turns out that it’s not Jeff’s lucky night. Hayley isn’t as innocent as she looks, and the tables are turned on the photographer as she confronts him about his dark past.

U.S. RELEASE: April 14 2006, Nationwide • Rated: R


“When I first read the script it totally blew me away. First of all it was incredibly engrossing and obviously original, and then on top of that to read a role written for a teenage girl with so much passion and intelligence was extremely refreshing.”

“My wife was the one who ultimately told me to do this film, because it was a different type of movie, different type of character. Even though she’s an actress and she knows what’s going on, it’s hard to watch anybody that you know and love go through that sort of pain on film.”

“We shot this film in 18 days, which was great because the immediacy made it the film that it is. It has a kind of manic nature.”

“You have this idea that people who are on the Internet come walking in with their shoulder’s hunch and they’re creepy, weird nerds, and I just wanted to make Jeff a very charming photographer, who knows how to work the lens, he knows how to view people, so I went with that angle.”

“The movie is clearly provoking people strongly and that’s great, because that’s what a film should do, that’s what art should do.”

“For me one of the best things about this movie is it raises questions, and it makes you think and that’s great. If it makes you think you want to watch your kids a little more, more power to you.”

“I wanted to maintain a vulnerability in the sense of her being 14, and not [be like] some kind of superhero. I wouldn’t say she’s evil or sick at all. I think she’s an extremely passionate, intelligent young woman. I actually found her kind of inspiring in a way. I think she sees something wrong with society, she’s irritated that people are ignoring it, and she’s going to do something about it.”

“I haven’t been around a lot of people who’ve seen the movie. I think men and women have different reactions to the film related to me. I think the most surprising thing for people is when people go, ‘You know, I found myself being sympathetic for you, and I didn’t like myself for that.’ That’s great, because that was kind of the goal. This guy is up to no good, but even when the table is turned you don’t know who to like.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Lions Gate
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #669, May 2006 cover

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