Candy (2006 film)

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Candy (2006).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNeil Armfield
Produced byMargaret Fink
Emile Sherman
Written byNeil Armfield
Luke Davies
Based onCandy: A Novel of Love and Addiction by Luke Davies
StarringHeath Ledger
Abbie Cornish
Geoffrey Rush
Music byPaul Charlier
CinematographyGarry Phillips
Edited byDany Cooper
Renaissance Films
Distributed byDendy Films (Australia)
THINKFilm (United States)
Release date
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 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 is alternating states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.

The film is organized in 3 acts of roughly 3 scenes each, titled Heaven, Earth, and Hell:

In Heaven, the young lovers ecstatically experience sex and drugs. Constantly seeking drug money, they borrow from Candy's parents or eccentric university professor Casper (Geoffrey Rush), selling things, stealing, even prostituting when desperate.

In Earth they are married and confront the realities of addiction and family life. Dan purchases the drugs; Candy becomes a prostitute. Dan steals a credit card and gets the owner's PIN, then steals money from his bank funds. Candy becomes pregnant, and despite their efforts to "go clean", the baby is delivered stillborn at 23 weeks. 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. They choose to move to 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 a neighbor, a fellow drug user, and relapses to her previous lifestyle. She has a complete mental breakdown and becomes extremely distant toward Dan. He looks up Casper again, returning to his prodigal father, and instantly relapsing with his patented "yellow jesus." Dan is informed the next morning of Candy's hospitalization back in Sydney, upon where he finds her in an unresponsive, semi-catatonic state. Dan returns to find Casper has died of a drug overdose; this forces Dan to reconsider his life. While Candy recovers in a clinic, Dan gets clean and gets a dishwashing job. When Candy returns to Dan, he says "There's no going back. If you're given a reprieve, I think it's good to remember just how thin it is" and she stands up and leaves.



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.


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 "generally favorable 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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