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There’s a bit more style than substance in this audacious feature debut from Irish film-maker Aoife McArdle – but so what? The style is impressive, and there’s no obvious lack of substance either. McArdle gives us a good-looking and well-acted if dreamily directionless movie with some startling images, great sound design, a nightmarish moodscape, and a propulsive musical score from Jon Clarke.
Ann Skelly plays 17-year-old Candice, who goes to school in a small town on the Irish border. She has epilepsy and her fits are something to which she surrenders herself almost ecstatically, visionary moments in which she can enter a dreamworld where a certain good-looking boy is kissing her. This is Jacob (Ryan Lincoln) who, to her woozy astonishment, turns out to exist in real life, gallantly rescuing her from an episode in which she has fainted by the roadside. But Jacob is part of a dodgy gang of teenage criminals who may be behind a recent child disappearance; they are persons of interest to Candice’s careworn copper dad – a weighty, valuable performance from John Lynch.
Candice spends her time on the verge of an out-of-body experience, and so does the film. Her loneliness, her anxiety, her romanticism and her medical condition mean that she is forever semi-fantasising the worst, and the best. McArdle’s background is in music videos, in which she is an award-winner, and she has worked with U2 and Bryan Ferry; this experience has given her an interesting grounding in sound and vision, without being bogged down in speech and dialogue. Towards the end, Kissing Candice loses narrative shape, but not before it has given its audience memorable, sensuous images.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Kissing Candice review – dream lover brought to startling life | Film