Anyone who’s seen the independent film Hard Candy knows for certain that Ellen Page’s portrayal of Haley, a fourteen year-old who accepts the invitation of a thirty-something photographer met on the internet, is absolutely brilliant. The audience is never certain whether they’re rooting for this tough chick who surgically castrates the photographer or if we’re secretly wincing at her lucid cruelty. Whether or not we side with her character, one thing that we can all agree on is that her performance is immaculate. With Hollywood overflowing with pretty girls with a limited intellect, Ellen brings a spark of novelty with her complex role that borders on perfection. Not many young actresses would’ve been able to pull off such a difficult role, let alone a young girl such as her and with her limited acting experience.
Hard Candy is an original film that puts a twist on the concept of predator and prey. The roles are reversed and the reversal is a delight to see, at least from a feminist point of view.
Ellen’s mastery is the ability to show vulnerability while coming across as a skillful manipulator in her role of Haley. Very few actresses would’ve been able to give that character the same depth and dynamics that she managed to do. Seeing Ellen Page on onscreen is like receiving a punch in the face and dabbing the blood off your chin with a pink strawberry scented tissue.