Candy (2006 film)

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Candy (2006).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNeil Armfield
Written byNeil Armfield
Luke Davies
Based onCandy: A Novel of Love and Addiction by Luke Davies
Produced byMargaret Fink
Emile Sherman
StarringHeath Ledger
Abbie Cornish
Geoffrey Rush
CinematographyGarry Phillips
Edited byDany Cooper
Music byPaul Charlier
Renaissance Films
Distributed byDendy Films
Release dates
Running time
108 minutes
Box office$2.1 million

Candy is a 2006 Australian romantic drama film, adapted from Luke Davies's 1998 novel Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction. Candy was directed by debut filmmaker 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.


There are three acts of roughly three scenes each, Heaven, Earth, and Hell. A poet named Dan and an art student named Candy fall passionately in love, as Candy gravitates to her bohemian lifestyle and love of heroin. Hooked as much on one another as they are on the drug, their relationship is alternating states of bliss, oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.

Heaven: the young lovers ecstatically experience sex, devotion, and heroin. Constantly seeking drug money, they borrow from Candy's parents or eccentric university professor Casper, then steal, then when Candy sells her grandmother's ring, she has sex with a smelly pawn shop owner for $50.

Earth: they marry and confront the realities of addiction and family life. Dan purchases the drugs; Candy prostitutes. While considering having sex with men in a park bathroom for money, Dan steals a credit card and scams the owner for his PIN, taking $7000. Candy becomes pregnant, and despite a few days of tortuously going "go clean", the baby is delivered stillborn at 23 weeks. They return to heroin, but stop again, 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.

Hell: the dissolution of their relationship and recovery. They choose to move to the country to "try methadone" as a way to ease into a more normal life. After a disastrous attempt to have Candy's parents over for Sunday lunch, Candy screams at her mother about how she is the cause for Candy to never have been able to unclench her fists. After Dan returns home one day from working, and hoping to show Candy he can provide for her, she is smoking pot with a new guy, and leaves with him to have sex. When she returns she screams at Dan about how much she hates him and wants him to go away. He leaves, and when he returns the walls of every room of the house are covered with poems about Dan and Candy that she has written in makeup. He looks up Casper again, and does heroin with him. Dan is informed the next morning of Candy's hospitalization back in Sydney, where he finds her in a distressed state. Dan returns to Casper's to find him dead of a heroin overdose; this forces Dan to reconsider his life. While Candy recovers in a treatment clinic, Dan gets clean and gets a job washing dishes at a restaurant, horribly missing Candy. But when Candy finishes treatment and comes to the restaurant to tell Dan that everything is OK because she is back, he cries and says "There's no going back. If you're given a reprieve, I think it's good to remember just how thin it is." She leaves.



The film features a version of the Tim Buckley song "Song to the Siren", sung by actress/singer Paula Arundell. It also includes the track Sugar Man from the debut 1970 album by Detroit singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez.


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 47% with an average rating of 5.76/10, based on 76 reviews. The site's critics consensus reads: "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."[1] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[2]




  • 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 Australian Screen Editors Ellie for Best Editing in a Feature Film Dany Cooper ASE



  1. ^ "Candy (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Candy Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 18 July 2020.

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