Candy (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/10/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 108 mins

Opens London Film Festival: 19th October

Impressively directed, moving and frequently harrowing drama with strong performances from both Cornish and Ledger.

What's it all about?
Abbie Cornish (from Somersault) follows up her impressive debut with another terrific performance as Candy, a young artist who falls in love with Dan (Heath Ledger), a poet and heroin user, whose addiction she soon comes to share. With their lives spiraling out of control, the pair are forced to sell almost everything they own and Candy ends up turning tricks to feed their habit.

They get occasional help (of the wrong kind) from Dan's mentor Casper (Geoffrey Rush) and from Candy's concerned parents (Noni Hazlehurst and Tony Martin) but their situation becomes more and more hopeless. Will they manage to get clean before the drug destroys their lives?

The Good
Adapted from the semi-autobiographical novel by Luke Davies (who co-write the screenplay with director Neil Armfield), the none-too-subtle structure divides the film into three parts: Heaven, Earth and Hell. This allows for a strong contrast, perfectly illustrating the first rush of romance and addiction, followed by the back-down-to-earth reality and a slow descent into despair.

Cornish cements her status as Australia's next big thing with a superb performance that is both heart-breaking and harrowing. Ledger is as good here as he was in Brokeback Mountain and there's strong support from Geoffrey Rush (who's extremely creepy as Casper) and from Hazlehurst and Martin, whose sense of frustration at being unable to help their daughter is painful to watch.

The Great
The script is excellent, throwing up some amusing lines (We're the coolest people in McDonalds) and some superb, dream-like scenes. Highlights include the bizarre opening shots (with Candy and Dan in a Wall of Death fairground ride), a gritty Cold Turkey sequence and an amusing scene where they get high in a car wash.

Worth seeing?
Candy is an impressively directed, powerful and ultimately moving drama that's worth seeing for Cornish and Ledger's superb performances.

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Content updated: 17/12/2017 15:48

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