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Not for the faint hearted
If there is any one movie I would ever recommend to discourage someone from trying Heroin or even to stop someone who is doing it this is the movie I would show them.

I was somewhat blasé when my girlfriend chose this as our weekly movie that we go see, personally I actually wanted to go see Superman Returns, possibly because it had Heath Ledger in it, possibly because it was just another druggie movie. I'm still not sure whether we should have just gone to see Superman, not because it was a bad movie, quite the opposite. I have to say that this is one of the best movies I have ever seen (and that is quite a claim I know), but I don't think that I could ever see it again.

That said, I would definitely recommend this to you all. It is a brilliant piece, frighteningly realistic, intense and very powerful. I never wanted to try Heroin ever and this film certainly hit that home. If I ever hear someone say they want to try it normally I would just call them an idiot and leave it alone, but now I think I would absolutely go off at them. This movie certainly cannot be accused of glorifying drugs.

Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish totally made this movie their own. Their chemistry is at times absolutely beautiful and wonderful, and at other times frightening and unnerving. The number one feeling this movie left me with was quite uncomfortable and also somewhat disturbed. And that I believe is exactly what this movie was attempting to do, realism at it's best. Berthold Brecht himself couldn't have done better himself.

I've never seen Abbie Cornish in anything else before this, but if her other work is as brilliant as her performance as Candy in this film, point me in it's direction. Abbie was absolutely brilliant, especially in the wide range of emotions and personalities she had to portray.

My one criticism for this film (if you could call it a criticism) is that it may be too realistic (it is almost as if someone had just filmed this couple's life and put it in the cinema) and some scenes could be somewhat disturbing for some people but I believe that is the point of the film. Call it a warning.

I know this isn't exactly the most well written review and I hope it makes sense, but this is one film I have actually been motivated to write a review about and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone.
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A touching story
Philby-330 May 2006
Despite a couple of good reviews, I approached this film with foreboding. Movies about junkies in love, taken from searing autobiographical first novels are usually not what I would call entertaining, though there have been worthy earlier Australian efforts such as "Winter of Our Dreams" (with Judy Davis and Bryan Brown) and "Monkey Grip" (which starred Noni Hazelhurst and Colin Friels). As "Trainspotting" showed it is possible to be light –hearted about drugs and addiction but the storyline here is far from cheering and there is no Hollywood-style happy ending. However it did not turn out as gruesome as I feared it might.

This was partly because of two stunning performances by Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish as the not very happy couple, Dan and Candy. Somehow, Heath got it just right as the shambling, disorganized, would-be poet, who is nonetheless capable of pulling off an effective scam when required. Abbie gave us a beautiful, headstrong and dangerous Candy. Their scenes together are as intense and as convincing as you will get in the movies. They were both well supported by Tony Martin and Nonie Hazlehurst as Candy's parents and Geoffrey Rush as their supplier and friend Casper. Geoffrey Rush is a dangerous actor to use in a supporting role because of his ability to steal scenes, but he produces a wonderfully ambiguous character as a counterpoint to the intensity of the leads.

Caspar makes an interesting remark about drug usage: "When you're on it you don't want to stop, when you want to stop you can't." Artists have particular trouble since they see drugs as feeding creativity. Even so, some people break the habit. I hate to use the term "self–discipline" but that and the support of those close to you seem to be crucial factors. Being in love with another addict does not seem to be a great help, for obvious reasons. The Thought Police will be pleased that drug-taking is not glamourised and Dan and Candy's experiences are a mite painful, but the movie does not take a judgmental stance. If we had to have another movie about junkies in love, this is the one.
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Gritty life drama of love and drugs.
Drtimk6 June 2006
"Candy" is one of those films where you walk away feeling a little bit stunned by the awful reality it exposes. It is not a pretty film nor a pretty subject, but as another "drug" film, at least we can feel an empathy for the main characters,whilst the horror of heroin addiction is still depicted.

It is this balance that sets "Candy" apart from many other druggie pics.The love between Candy and Dan is very real. Affectionate, painful,hopeful and hopeless, it transcends the heroin story to the extent where we really hope everything will work out for them; though we're taken on the ride of rapid decline so familiar with this drug.

Much credit for this balance lies with an excellent story and direction from Neil Armfeld (more familiar with theatre in Australia), and some superb acting from Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish in the leads.Geoffrey Rush has a delicious support role as Dan's friend Casper,a "mentor" whom we suspect is a little tormented by his own influences.Tony Martin and Noni Hazelhurst round out the main supports as Candy's suffering parents,loving but helpless as they observe their daughter's descent into a world they never knew.

Like drug problems in real life, all the characters enmeshed in the mess are frail, vulnerable,emotional and ill. They are good and bad.They blame each other and themselves. They look everywhere for solutions that might work,yet we suspect the ultimate solution is too difficult.

I suspect that in years to come,this will become one of the ultimate drug pics to show to teenagers. Not hopeless like Trainspotting,nor in anyway melodramatic like so many others(Clean and sober,28 days etc..), it shows the horrors of drug addiction whilst maintaining its humanity.The ending may be disappointing for some, but it remains true to the love, hope and uncertainty central to this film and to anyone who lives with recovery.
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"Everything we ever did we did with the best of intentions."
Flagrant-Baronessa13 November 2006
What a gripping film this is, not because of the enormous tragedy of its characters, but because of their goodness. Another user suggested ''Trainspotting'' meets ''Romeo + Juliet'' which I believe is an apt summary of Neil Armfield's Aussie gem Candy – the kind of film that takes you and shakes you with harrowing bleak portrayals juxtaposed with the euphoric state of romance. Although it is not devoid of faults, the film trumps most other films I've seen this year at the Stockholm Film Festival because of sheer emotional impact.

But Candy opens on a hypnotic note of false security; lovable slacker Dan (Heath Ledger) and bohemian art student Candy (Abbie Cornish) indulge in drug-induced games, smiling, laughing, kissing, even playing with children. In the next scene Candy almost ODs in the bathtub, and the film bravely swoops down and offers us a look at something infinitely more unpleasant: drug addiction. Indeed, 'Candy' was largely being advertised as a romance for reasons I cannot pretend to understand, other than perhaps the shock factor in abandoning gushy romance for a bruised reality. The truth of the matter is that it offers one of the most unflinching looks into seedy junkie lives since Reqiuem For a Dream.

The cast give fine and sometimes even excellent performances. Geoffrey Rush lends his dutiful Aussie charm to the supporting role of an 'accidental mentor' of sorts to Dan and Candy – "the father I always wanted, the one who buys you fizzy drinks and candy", remarks Dan in the introduction and we thereby know early on that his character is perhaps not a flawless or ethical one. Ledger is constantly pending between likable and loser in the film, and it is thanks to his apt narrative of events that he remains so well centred in the heart of 'Candy' (which should rightfully be titled 'Dan'). As a clever technique by first-time director Armfield, Ledger's soft-spoken narrative becomes punctured, mercilessly abandoning us in a time when we need it the most – when the seedy circumstances become too dire.

But the big surprise is Abbie Cornish who is now regrettably stirring up more buzz with the Phillippe-Witherspoon split than with her remarkably bruised performance as the tragic heroine, Candy. She captures the escalating despair, desperation and nihilism of her character effortlessly and translates it with great emotional transparency. Soon she has resorted to full-time prostitution to get money for hits, and it is just heartrending. In particular there is a poignant and emotional scene with Candy and her father embracing after a shocking bit of news that cements the chaos Dan and Candy have gotten themselves in.

Interestingly enough, 'Candy' is explicitly divided into three titled segments that pop up on the screen: heaven, earth and hell and it does a great job at portraying all three, uninhibitedly navigating the contrasts that form at their transitions. The soft-spoken words, love-making, drug-induced romantic euphoria and intimate caressing of the 'heaven' segment render 'hell' all the more harrowing, although I must remark that I found 'earth' to be by far the most graphic and difficult to watch. This can best be attributed to the scenes in which Dan and Candy try to lose their heroin addictions and lay suffering for days on a mattress, Trainspotting-style.

In the end, 'Candy' remains – much like its peers, a cautionary tale of the horrors of drug life and how addiction can mess you up, and mess with relationships. Although there are few discernible flaws that jump out and grab you, the attempted humour simply isn't in-tune and it is needed as a tension-easer at times. Owing to this, Candy sadly offers little light at the end of the tunnel and it is far too easy to lose yourself in the gloom hopelessness. Yet most of this is compensated for by great performances of intrinsically good people that you cannot help rooting for, as Dan says: "Everything we ever did we did with the best of intentions."

8 out of 10
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Accurate, intimate and very watchable
slake0921 July 2006
You could write this off as another story about addiction and the destruction resulting from it, but there's more here. The love story between Ledger and Cornish is a constant throughout, with a great line on how their addiction affects not only their own relationship, but their relationships with others: parents, friends, acquaintances.

Abby Cornish is especially good as the art girl turned junkie prostitute; her fall into addiction and the changes it makes in her life are much more effective than Ledger's portrayal of a junkie in love.

The parents in the movie are excellent, from subtle facial expressions to drag-out fights with their dope fiend daughter. They act much as you would expect parents to act, or at least hope they would act.

The ending dropped the ball a little, but maybe they ran out of budget. In any case, I would watch it again. It's realistic, gritty, romantic and a good case study of how drugs can ruin the most intense love.
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Could have been great, but had some incredible performances
maveric_7430 June 2006
Saw this last night at Greater Union, Tuggerah. There were about 10 of us and only 3 of us loved it..But to put it in perspective, the others were more keen on seeing Click and The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift:-)

I thought it was a good movie, but lacked some character depth in places. Heath Ledger was good, but it was really Abbie Cornish (so exceptional in Somersault as well) and Geoffrey Rush who were outstanding. Abbie Cornish is amazing as Candy, she truly lives and breathes the role, except in the last scene, where I thought her character didn't really match the emotion shown by Heath Ledger's character. That was Heath's finest scene for me, the way he was able to portray so much emotion without saying anything at all.

Tony Martin and Noni Hazelhurst were good in their small time on screen, but again, the relationship breakdown between Candy and her Mum wasn't really explored which didn't really help when she goes off at her Mum and starts screaming at her for ruining her life..

Great direction by Neil Armfield and this was really a movie about Heath and Abbie's characters dependence on drugs and on each other through their ordeal. Some of the things they do to obtain drugs and the money to buy drugs is shocking, but to them just a necessity to obtain ways and means of getting "a fix".

As good as this movie was, if you liked Candy, please take time to see an earlier Australian movie from a few years ago called Head On by Anna Kikkonos (I think that's her name). It stars Alex Dimitraides and is a much better exploration of the drug scene.

Overall, Candy is a worthy addition to the local Australian cinema and I'm glad I was able to enjoy this movie. Definitely worth a look for the performances by Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush and Heath Ledger
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Great film amid tired drug-genre
fingers7815 May 2006
'Candy' will probably garner several AFI awards later this year. Ledger is Dan, a troubled and likable juvenile-come-poet who is in love with Cornish's Candy, a sometimes-practicing artist who falls head first in love with Dan and heroin. Ledger's understated performance gives Dan a boyish vulnerability that would otherwise leave him less sympathetic. And his ability to use his face and especially his eyes to communicate Dan's uncanny reluctance is both staggering and understandable. There are many moments where silence is used to express emotions in this film and Armfield deserves to be commended for his restraint and trust in his actors and the narrative. The script by co-writer and author Davies is decidedly different from the novel but nonetheless strong and taut. It's rarely melodramatic and has been manipulated more for it's performers and their execution on screen rather than resigning itself as merely an adaptation of a great novel. The result here provides superb cinematic balance. Cornish too is brilliant, often abrasive as the troubled artist. Rush is also amazing and understated as Casper, Dan's older homosexual friend. Hazelhurst reprises her role in 'Little Fish' but to less effect. She is great, but those who have seen 'Little Fish' will find her casting a little too convenient. Martin too is good with the little he is dealt. The only thing that stops 'Candy' from being superb is the material. It is too familiar and the characters are too stereotypical. Had this film been made before countless others in the 'drug-film' genre this would have been more refreshing (although the denouement is a much welcomed change). But sadly it isn't. This in turn is nobody's fault. It's just been exploited too many times. The only thing that isn't stereotypical is Dan who is the backbone of the narrative. Ledger has made it his own and could have mimicked any drug-stricken angsty protagonist the 'genre' has spat out. Instead he has made him a hero.
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great acting!
talel_bj17 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie yesterday at the berlin film festival. I thought it was absolutely terrific. the theme of drug addiction has been seen before but the actors really elevated this piece into something outstanding.i have never seen the actress before but i knew heath ledger and was fairly impressed with him. brokeback mountain hasn't been released in Germany just yet, but judging on ledgers performance in this movie i'm even more excited to see it soon. Rush was pretty good too, but this film really belongs to the lead actors. most devastating to me was the scene when candy miscarried. it was really shocking and moving at the same time. There's no happy ending here (predictably)but i still found the film to be very rewarding to watch. definitely worth seeing!
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Harsh but great.
come2whereimfrom22 November 2006
Amazing but harsh Candy is 'Trainspotting' meets 'Romeo and Juliet'. Opening with a haunting melody and the two lovers on a fairground ride it feels very picturesque and idealistic, but that doesn't last very long I'm afraid. Mixing poetic voice-overs and montages of the pair involved in each other as the world orbits around them they are so in love and oblivious and addicted. Told in a triptych the first third of the film is called 'heaven' and deals with the honeymoon period of the relationship, the second third is called 'earth' and deals with the start of the end and it doesn't take a genius to work out that the third is called 'hell' and is just that. Candy and Dan are addicted to each other and addicted to heroin. They steal, lie, cheat and wheel and deal, whatever it takes to get the cash they need for the next fix, but when the fixes are few and far between there becomes no limit to how far they will go. Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish are brilliant as the arm spiked lovers who both brood with an intensity that shines out when they are acting being on drugs or the brutal scenes when they are trying to come off them. They are mesmerising to watch and at all times you either hate them for how much they are destroying each other or empathise with them for what they are going through. You can't help but go through the experience with them because it is so graphic and not unlike the needles gets right under your skin. Geoffrey Rush who plays a strange semi-gay drugged up Uncle Monty type character, who not only supplies but manufactures some of the drugs for the pair and even shoots up with them, is very unnerving as the father figure Dan always wanted but never had. Even the later part of the last third, despite its nature, still holds elements of beauty and I would be surprised if there was a dry eye in the house as the film reaches its climax. If you ever wanted a way to show children the evils of drugs then show them this film, it never glorifies the use of substances and if anything it is garishly honest all the way through, although not an easy watch it is an amazing portrayal of the power that addictions, good or bad, can hold and just how far humans are capable of going for love. This really is a journey into the heart of darkness.
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Brilliant journey into darkness
DavidSteinhoff22 May 2006
This is a brilliant film featuring an excellent screenplay, outstanding acting and consummate directing.

It is dark but wonderfully romantic. Most importantly, it is truthful. It is an Australian 'Requiem for a dream' but with far greater depth.

It may not be traditionally commercial but who would have thought a film about two gay cowboys would be commercial?

I say well done to the Producer and the whole team for their work. I would also say that this has inspired me to look at Australian theatre directors for future features.

PS. Abbie and Heath were seamless. So good to see talent like these two working together and doing so in Australia.

David Steinhoff CEO Presence Films Sydney Australia
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Intense and unpleasant...I liked it
inkblot10121 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I was very moved by this film, I found it exhilarating and painful at the same time. All of the scenes powerfully encapsulate stages of addiction, the starry eyed beginning to the hopelessness and victimization of a need that cannot be satisfied, but must be obeyed both with the drugs and each other. The desperation of two people trying to make sense of a world that they have created and maintained through their drug use, the withdrawal from and eventual isolation from normal and eventually each other is all shown here sparing nothing. The sense that they have captured something beautiful and unique, well aware of the impending pitfall that awaits them is so beautifully portrayed here it is hard not to sympathize with all of the characters even at their most desperate; understanding where they come from and what drives them. Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish work well together and my respect for Heath Ledger has been restored to full after some horrible roles post Two Hands.
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Competent But Done Before
Tony Hooper12 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I am glad that the Australian film industry is making films about such interesting subjects, and particularly ones that have had their fair share of great films. Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting were two films that really showed the drug culture in an interesting light, and were very entertaining. But, with Candy, I couldn't help but feel like it'd all been done before, just better.

We have the plot that is reasonably standard to these melancholy drug films: boy meets girl, they do drugs, they fight, they get back together, they descend, and a possible happy ending. As far as it goes the structure of these movies is not really the point. They all follow the same structure, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, it does mean that, as a genre, you really need to be able to hammer home your points well. Those points have to do with what you're saying about the drug culture and, more importantly, in my opinion, what you say about relationships.

Before I get started I'd like to say how absolutely brilliant the actors were. Heath Ledger has really shaken off the critics and proved himself to be a great dramatic actor, capable of picking good roles, and pulling them off to a tee. His performance was one par with any great modern actor. Geoffery Rush was his usual amazing self, adding a bit of humour to the movie, but in a way that never ruined the film. Of course, earning the biggest mention is Abbie Cornish, who is beautiful and wonderful as always in this film. Her performance is just mezmorising, and I couldn't keep my eyes off her. She is so perfect for these innocent-yet- knowing, vulnerable, melancholy roles. She is amazingly professional in everything she does, and she bucks the trend of young actors in nude scenes; she retains her respectability, and she actually adds gravitas to the movie through these (most welcome, if I may) scenes.

What does let it down is the somewhat tired direction and cinematography. To be rude, the cinematographer looks like he came straight from NIDA. "This is what you do to be dramatic", "this is what you do to be romantic" etc. The story was told in a very linear way, and the title of the movie divisions was simplistic to the point of being insulting. Though I am never a big fan of comparing films, one must wonder what this contributes to the genre. The similarities between this and Requiem for a Dream were plentiful in terms of structure and story, but Requiem did it with so much style. If Candy lacked anything it was a creative oomph.

All in all it is a film that is quite average, though I do not mean that in a derogatory way, as it has come to be associated. Every feature is very competent, but that is all. The thing that does make it a cut above the rest is the incredible acting. Hopefully, with actors like these, Australian filmmakers will be more daring in the future.
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A hidden Diamant.....Oscar worth movie
piku130211 May 2016
This movie is one of the best I've ever seen! It's such a sad,complete full,astonishing film.But I wonder why the hell almost NOBODY was advertising this film?!? I am mad! The whole suicide thing was in the first plan,and the PR of this film WAS Awkward! better said,there were even A PR ! Why?! This movie,is in the same genre where Trainspotting is. But in this one there's more drama and love. Now I am trying to buy the original book,which the movie was made of. Yea...people,don't tell me that you did not knew this? Like always....the book is more detailed and better,so I can't wait to read the book! When I read the book Perfume,and just saw the trailer...ONLY the trailer I was mad because so many things were that I did not even had the mood to watch a stupid movie,based on a GREAT novel!
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Seeking enlightenment about the ending (failing which, it's bogus)
steve_ray7729 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I confess: I don't get the ending of Candy.

One minute Dan is out in the alley behind the restaurant he's working in, smoking a cigarette and telling us (via voice-over) how all he's been thinking about was seeing Candy again. Then, like a gift from heaven, she shows up and says "Baby, I'm Yours (again)."

Other than some need to have a "life's a bitch and we must all be unhappy" ending, or perhaps because the director had no idea how else to end the movie, why does Dan suddenly opt for: "There's no going back." (i.e., why *not,* Dan? or why not just go *forward* -- with Candy?)

I'm sorry if I'm too thick to understand. Someone enlighten me, please.
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Bittersweet romance under the shadow of smack
Max Million5 December 2006
Saw Candy - wonderful performances from a marvellous cast. Beautifully shot etc. One thing did strike me as being strange -- the casting of Noni Hazlehurst as the Mum who harangues her daughter and fails to comprehend her choices. This actress is well-known (in Oz, anyway) for her brilliant portrayal twenty years ago as a junkie in "Monkey Grip". So, casting her in this diametrically opposed role did not serve the movie well *at all* I found it so distracting, and completely at odds with the purpose of the casting, that it did my head in!

Another quibble -- a truly hilarious scene from the novel, where Dan tries to rob a bank, was not in the movie. Too bad. Armfield also changed what happened to Geoffrey Rush's character, which was interesting to observe. In the movie he gives him a much more poetic trajectory.

Otherwise Candy is an excellent druggy pic and love story and definitely worth seeing if you don't remember Christiane F etc
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A watered down movie about the horrors of addiction
Poprocks6718 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
When I saw the storyline for Candy, and the cast (Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish and Geoffrey Rush) I TiVo'ed it with the excitement of what was certainly going to be an excellent piece of storytelling. How wrong I was. The characters were mainly cutouts, and the story was actually milquetoast. The one concession, and the grittiest moment was during Candy's miscarriage. But one 15 minute scene does not a movie make. The performances were admirable, Abbie Cornish is a very talented actress, and Heath Ledger is quite decent as well. Geoffrey Rush was completely wasted in this film, though. His talent far exceeded the role, thereby making his few on screen moments seem campy and overdone.

If you want to see the true grit of a bleak storyline such as heroin addiction, I recommend Christiane F. or Panic in Needle Park. For subject matter, they are much better, and more three dimensional than this piece of fluff.
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Incredibly accurate, dramatically compelling story of heroin addicts in love
roland-10427 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Here's the all around best film about drug addicts since Gus Van Sant's 1989 cult hit, "Drugstore Cowboy." Specifically with reference to heroin addiction (the characters in "Cowboy" were polysubstance prescription drug addicts), "Candy" offers a far more representative and fully developed picture of that particular addiction than many of its predecessors, like "Man With the Golden Arm," "High Art," "Requiem for a Dream" or the recent film, "Clean," and it holds its own when compared with "Trainspotting" and "Pure," two of the all time best junkie films.

Though it's a love story, "Candy's" narrative arc is in fact the arc of addiction itself. Dan (Heath Ledger), an addicted slacker, meets and falls in love with Candy (Abbie Cornish), a beautiful artist, truly a vision of womanly perfection, candy for the eye and the heart, among other organs. I suppose Candy sees in Dan what some vulnerable women all too often find attractive: somebody to dote upon and look after, possibly rehabilitate, change into the man of her dreams. We then follow the couple through the bliss of early love, then marriage, then down the rabbit hole into ever more serious mutual addiction, for Candy almost begs to be initiated into heroin use early on.

Don't get me wrong, though. This is no cut and dried clinical saga. It may resemble many heartbreaking case histories, but this story is well written and well acted; it's got sturdy dramatic legs to stand on. Apart from being drop dead gorgeous, Ms. Cornish gives a highly skilled turn. She goes through so many poignant changes, ranging from naïf to drug addled vixen.

Mr. Ledger, fresh off his astonishing performance in "Brokeback Mountain," here gives us another troubled, morose character not unlike "Brokeback's" Ennis or his earlier, smaller role as the suicidal Sonny in "Monster's Ball." Ledger needs to watch out lest he become typecast as an actor for depressive characters. But he is so good at them! Aiding the proceedings is a splendid supporting turn by Geoffrey Rush as Casper the friendly dope maker, a chemistry professor who has turned his skills to perfecting designer opioids.

The ending is so similar to that in "Drugstore Cowboy" that I suspect a homage was planned. But that takes nothing away from the dramatic appropriateness of "Candy's" wrap up. Mark this one down as one of the best psychflix ever made about addictions. My grades: 8.5/10 (A-)(Seen on 12/09/06)
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No Invention, No Subtext, No Point
DelBongo17 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
How on earth did this film garner such inexplicably praiseful plaudits on the festival circuit last year? You can colour me entirely baffled.

The studio's plot synopsis remains genuinely intriguing, but the film proper appears to have excised all of this potentially interesting material; namely, the dynamic it claims to examine between the titular character (stitched up by her attraction to the bohemian lifestyle, apparently) and Ledger's dozy poet.

That, at the very least, sounds like something worth exploring.

But instead, we are given film that is so painfully familiar and uninventive that I can genuinely tell you, with all sincerity, that there is absolutely no reason to watch it.

The two central performances shine brilliantly for the first half hour or so; after that, we're treated to the rather nauseating display of two talented actors trying feverishly to out-twitch each other.

The main problem though, is that the movie has no narrative drive. We start in hell, and (despite the film's attempt to shoe-horn in periodic 'Heaven', 'Hell' and 'Earth' titlecards that have absolutely no bearing on the content of the story, and are, as an idea, clearly cribbed from Aronofsky's Requiem adaptation) we don't once move out of the pits. After barely 15 minutes of running time, and a surfeit of characterisation and/or plot, Candy is already driven to prostituting herself to fund her habit. Where can the film possibly go after that? I'd tell you, but you already know, surely?

As the film plummets ever deeper into misery and predictable squalor, fewer and fewer surprises are encountered, and the mind can't help but wander to the superior movies that this one can't help but reference.

Annoyingly, there is the odd excellent scene (for example, the frenzied, buzzy sequence in the bank brilliantly evokes the nervy excitement and brazen amorality of life on the fringes) but it is always quickly followed by a plot point so brain-fryingly soapy that any positive momentum is quashed immediately. *SPOILER* After the guilty euphoria of the bank episode, Ledger's character returns home to find out that Candy is pregnant with his child. Strewth! Where is THAT story going to end up? I'd tell you, but you already know, surely? *END SPOILER*

And to add insult to injury, it looks like utter hell; with its bland, studio-lit sets and washed- out cinematography, it looks like a gently bleached version of Home and Away.

The screenplay is no great shakes either; strictly join-the-dots plot wise, it also employs drab, repetitive, naturalistic dialogue that does evoke a certain realism, but serves to make all of the characters, bar none, completely uninteresting and unlikeable.

Go and rent Drugstore Cowboy or Christiane F instead of this well intentioned, but totally empty hack-job of lazy cod-soapery.
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Poetry In Motion. Ledger was a fine actor.
Alexander Penn18 May 2008
Candy A film based in Australia that revolves around the lives of two junkies Candy (Cornish) and Dan (Ledger) trying to live normal and functional lives.

This intriguing analysis of drug abuse acts as a powerful deterrent to viewers. Armfield guides us through the washed up lives of these addicts. We watch their relationship, health and happiness deteriorate as the film progresses. There is one point when they try to give up the drug which is an unorthodox and emotional sequence. Armfield's wacky and weird camera shots maximise the effect of disorientation which makes the viewer feel as if they were with Candy and Dan feeling the shocking effects of their cold turkey.

The performances were ultimately superb, Ledger's depiction of hopeless junkie Dan was obscenely great, it also somewhat of an irony that Ledger later passed away on an overdose of pills. Cormish was also superb, her deterioration was captured perfectly. Both characters created a fantastic aura on screen, they had to really to carry the film, i was entertained throughout by their accurate acting.

The cinematography was also masterful, the widely unorthodox camera shots were fitting and subtle.

However, while this film is a sublime piece of cinematographic art, the underlying story here lacks depth and there's not much to it here. Due to this, i couldn't bring myself to up my rating.

In spite of this, this is a great piece of cinema that i would recommend to anyone, yet beware this isn't for the faint hearted! 7.5/10
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Great Movie. Heath and Cristian are Superb!!!!
MIKER-404 June 2006
This is a GREAT movie. It is very intense. It shows you how life can be for two people in love with drugs. It will scare you straight. Heath does a great job as always. Cristian Castillo also does a FANTASTIC job as Little Angelo. He is going to be the next HOT Hollywood actor for sure. I cant wait for everybody else in the USA to see this. It makes you realize how bad drugs can affect a persons life. With all of the problems that our country has with drugs, this is a perfect time to release a great movie like this. For all of us that have kids, this will open your eyes and make you have the "NO DRUGS" talk with them. Can you say Oscar!!!! Heath and Cristian, keep up the GREAT work.
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Ledger's finest performance
Martin Bradley28 July 2008
Downbeat and depressing it may be and made all the more poignant for Heath ledger's performance as a junkie but there is no denying that this screen version of Luke Davies' novel does work. It is very well directed by Niel Armfield, who co-wrote it with Davies. He captures the monotony as well as the sordidness and the sheer horror of a junkie's life-style and the performances are superb.

Ledger is phenomenally good as an addict who would sell his soul, (though is more squeamish about selling his body), for his next fix; it's a totally unexpected performance and it is easily his best. He is matched by Abbie Cornish in the title role, the girl he drags to hell with him. As their seemingly benign, homosexual and ostensibly respectable dealer Geoffrey Rush gives a beautifully understated performance and there are two splendid cameo's from Tony Martin and Noni Hazelhurst as Candy's parents.

It is certainly not an easy film to watch; there isn't an ounce of sentimentality in it but it is very powerful and ultimately very moving. You come away from it with a real sense of loss at Ledger's early and tragic demise, ironically, from an accidental drugs overdose.
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Reminded me of the great 60's and 70's films
sahilsharma7281 June 2008
Truthful. Understated. Humanistic. Beautiful. Raw.

Like the best of Faces, A Woman Under the Influence, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, Mean Streets, and a few more.

The characters were rich with depth and contradictions.

It felt like a poem in motion, transcending the craft of film making, and becoming an "experience" of watching people unfold and live in front of your eyes.

And like the great films of the 60's and 70's, there is no shying away from the truth and harsh realities. But the approach is layered with a humanistic view; believing that we can be responsible for our own lives if we can admit to ourselves that we have weaknesses and sometimes need help. It's also about the dream of "free-living" as opposed to being part of the modern "system." How do you live "freely" when you have to make money and follow all laws of society? There is no one answer. This film though will stimulate some new thoughts and reflections. How deep will you go?

Highly recommended for enthusiasts of character pieces.
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Painful to watch. Easy to admire.
dead4754816 May 2008
An original, realistic drug-related film that never goes too far over the top and never feels like an afterschool special? I thought it couldn't be done, but boy was I wrong. Though to call Candy a drug film would be missing the point completely. It's a film about addiction. Addiction to heroine, yes, but on a much larger level addiction that one couple has to each other. Dan (Heath Ledger) and Candy (Abbie Cornish) are in love. They are also addicts and unemployed. The film tackles their relationship as it moves from something adorable to something tragic. They start off completely in love with one another and slowly drift apart, as the madness of addiction becomes deeper and deeper. Pretty early on Candy has to sell her body in order for them to get money, while Dan gets the drugs. The news that Candy is pregnant leads to them trying to get rid of their habit and start living a better life. They suffer through withdrawal and right when they start to see the light at the end, she suffers from an inevitable miscarriage. This sends them further into tragedy than they've ever been before and leads to the final act of the film being some of the most devastating work I've ever had to endure watching. My stomach was in knots through a large portion of the film, and I could barely stand watching what was happening on screen. A lot of this is due to the sensational performances from Ledger and Cornish. They work so well together; Cornish the emotionally intense and hysterical, Ledger the subtle and internally anguished. Both of them brought tears to my eyes several times throughout. It's without a doubt one of the most devastating, wrenching films I've ever seen. It's also one of the best.
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Depth to rattle you senseless
Neilo VH3 May 2008
The film in itself was one that I watched purely out of curiosity. And I am one many levels glad to have seen the film yet am rattled by the almost unimaginable depth and brutality that is showcased here. The film is disturbing and heart-wrenching in the way that it depicts a strong state of realism and highlights topical and often satirized themes.

The reasons I was so consumed by the film are for several reasons. The film instantly captures you with its themed sections of de-escalation, starting with a absolutely beautiful and nostalgic scene that contrasts beauty with brutality in Cornish's first of many insightful and clenching scenes. This leads me to the acting: all I can say is Wow. The inexplicable feeling the actors create make me both uncomfortable and shaken, particularly Cornish's extremely talented and dare I say four-dimensional character which has a very balanced unbalance of vulgarity and raw beauty. Her incredible looks do nothing to harbor her electrifying Candy. Ledger as always was not a let down, and portrayed the misguided poet trapped in a self-destructive bubble of blindness down to the T. The end scene in particular captures the millions of dimensions his character contains and the utter believability and emotion Ledger could create within a matter of seconds with one word. Rush as well was incredible, his almost delusional peace balanced well with helplessness. And last but not least, the absolutely incredible imagery of this film and the poetic and eye opening dialog interweaves to create a simply amazing and heart stopping tragic drama studying loneliness, love, and entrapment on levels which I personally have never seen so masterfully created. The nudity and language of the film was used not in a way to depict lustful and dirty intentions, but further emphasize the complex mesh of beautiful and disturbing story telling and further increase the downward fall of the film while all the time clenched and enveloped in the films uncontrollable draw. Disturbing and insanely deep, its sad that such a film is overlooked or shadowed by Hollywood blubber. This is real film making and this is the definition of a masterpiece. Cornish is the rising vibrancy to the film industry, and for Heath, the film is a testament of his unearthly talent and brutal honesty which the world of films and the world over all, will miss with mournful hearts for all time. I feel privileged and changed for seeing this work of art.
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great depiction...
jfrank995530 October 2007
Only someone who has been in the grips of addiction would understand and appreciate this movie. I, unfortunately, have been there. I went through it this year--coming off of the drugs. It is the hardest and most humbling experience anyone could ever possibly go through. It would be a perfect world if no one had to. The withdrawal scenes are right on. The desperation for money scenes--right on. I love it and have asked my entire family to watch it--so they can understand what I went through. I am grateful though that my husband and I made it. After two attempts at rehab, cold turkey was forced on us for legal reasons and it finally worked. I will NEVER touch any drug ever again. Not that the temptation isn't there. Your brain always wants it. But, if you think back to all that you go through to come off it--HELL NO!
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