Candy (2006 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Neil Armfield|
|Produced by||Margaret Fink
|Written by||Neil Armfield
|Music by||Paul Charlier|
|Editing by||Dany Cooper|
|Distributed by||Renaissance Films|
|Release dates||25 May 2006|
|Running time||116 min. (Australia)
108 min. (Hong Kong)
Candy is a 2006 Australian romantic drama film, adapted from Luke Davies's novel Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction. Candy was directed by debut film-maker Neil Armfield and stars Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish and Geoffrey Rush.
Candy, produced by Margaret Fink, was released in Australia on 25 May 2006 and subsequently released around the world.
A poet named Dan (Heath Ledger) falls in love with an art student named Candy (Abbie Cornish) who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle – and his love of heroin. Hooked as much on one another as they are on the drug, their relationship alternates between states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.
In Heaven, sex and drugs are experienced ecstatically by the young lovers. They continuously seek money to buy drugs, borrowing from Candy's parents or Casper (Geoffrey Rush), an eccentric university professor, selling things, stealing, and even prostituting when desperate.
In Earth they are married and confront the realities of addiction and family life. For money, Candy becomes a prostitute; Dan purchases the drugs. Dan steals a credit card, gets the owner's PIN, and steals money out of the owner's bank funds. Candy mistakenly becomes pregnant, and despite their efforts to "go clean" the baby is delivered still born around 23 weeks into the pregnancy. They finally stop taking drugs with huge effort, going through agonizing withdrawal symptoms in the process. Despite poor living conditions, constant struggles for money, and frequent disputes, they love each other very much.
In Hell they experience the dissolution of their relationship and recovery. Dan and Candy choose to move out into the country to "try methadone" as a way to ease into a more normal life. After a disastrous Sunday lunch, Candy fights with her parents, breaks down and screams at them to leave. Eventually, she becomes involved with one of their neighbors, who is also a drug user, and relapses to her previous lifestyle. Candy has a complete mental breakdown, and becomes extremely distant toward Dan. He returns to Casper only to find he has died of a drug overdose, forcing Dan to reconsider his life. While Candy recovers in a clinic, Dan gets clean and holds down a job as a dishwasher. When Candy returns to Dan he recognises that their relationship is based on heroin, and the two can no longer communicate. As such, even though he is still in love with Candy, he decides to end the relationship for good rather than risk dragging her back into addiction.
- Abbie Cornish as Candy
- Heath Ledger as Dan
- Geoffrey Rush as Casper
- Tom Budge as Schumann
- Roberto Meza Mont as Jorge
- Tony Martin as Jim Wyatt
- Noni Hazlehurst as Elaine Wyatt
- Tim McKenzie as Uncle Rod
- Tara Morice as Aunt Katherine
- Maddi Newling as Janey
- Cristian Castillo as Little Angelo
- Paul Blackwell as Phillip Dudley
- Adrienne Pickering as Teller
- Nathaniel Dean as Paul Hillman
- Alicia Hannah as Neighbour
The film featured a version of the Tim Buckley song "Song to the Siren", sung by actress/singer Paula Arundell. It also includes the title track Sugar Man from the debut 1970 album by forgotten Detroit singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez.
The film holds a 49% rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 5.8/10, based on 74 reviews. The critical consensus states that "Stars Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish look better than they should as heroin addicts, and their characters are too absorbed and self-pitying to be totally compelling." 
- 2006 – Germany – Berlin International Film Festival
- 2006 – Hong Kong International Film Festival
- 2006 – Canada – Toronto International Film Festival
- 2006 – UK – BFI London Film Festival
- 2006 – USA – Milwaukee International Film Festival
- 2007 – Singapore – Singapore International Film Festival
- 2006 Australian Writers Guild Awards: Feature Film - Adaptation (Luke Davies with Neil Armfield).
- 2006 Film Critics Circle of Australia: Best Actress in a Lead Role (Abbie Cornish), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Geoffrey Rush).
- 2006 Berlin International Film Festival: Golden Berlin Bear.
- 2006 Film Critics Circle of Australia: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Heath Ledger), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Noni Hazlehurst), Best Film, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Music Score (Paul Charlier).
- 2006 Australian Film Institute Awards: Best Film, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Abbie Cornish), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Heath Ledger), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Geoffrey Rush), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Noni Hazlehurst), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Production Design.
- 2006 Inside Film Awards: Best Actor (Heath Ledger), Best Actress (Abbie Cornish).
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