Candy (2006)

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Food: There’s a spot called Pizza Beach in the Lower East Side and it is typically packed out, so I don’t go that often, but went the other night and it was fairly open. My friends and I ordered a few rounds of drinks – I got the Mai Tai which I definitely recommend. It was delicious. We also had a watermelon margarita and a spicy margarita at the table which were both loved. The four of us split two pizzas: the Rockaway and the Daytona. Both were flavorful, but my favorite was definitely the Rockaway. It had some sort of vodka sauce that was so unique. The atmosphere is a lot of fun and I would always love to go back whenever I can get a seat!

Film: “Candy” (2006) is one of those films whose photos have appeared on blogs for years because it has all the ingredients to make the hipster swoon, but the reality is that this film is an incredibly heart wrenching look at the underbelly of addiction – love and other drugs. Abbie Cornish plays Candy, a young artist who has fallen for Dan, the poet (Heath Ledger), and has since embraced his bohemian lifestyle of light partying and freely living.

Neil Armfield adapted Luke Davies’s novel Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction, a story that was loosely based off the writers struggles with addiction and the relationship that he had throughout that time.  It’s an intensely personal story, which is felt throughout the piece, but it’s also a story that takes place in Australia, and gave the film an opportunity to magnify its lesser known landscapes by bringing it to the screen.

This film explores how a co-dependent relationship can be fodder for unraveling addiction through this young couple, who rely on a father-figure-esque man, “like the dad you always wanted – the one who lets you have lollies and fizzy drink, who lets you stay up and watch the late night movies,” who supplies them with their heroin fix and the occasional loan. Casper (Geoffrey Rush) is a former chemistry professor who indulges in the company which wins out over his affection for them, and so his concern for their well-being only goes as far as warning them, “When you can stop, you don’t want to. When you want to stop, you can’t.”

As their relationship thickens, so does their dependence on their drug of choice. They get married and get a place, but without any money, Abbie resorts to selling the only thing she knows how – her body. Throughout the film, the couple ebbs and flows through periods of spiraling and then attempting to get clean. It is endearing, painful, sweetly funny at times, and ultimately tragic. The performances of both Cornish and Ledger, their completely uninhibited rawness and precise conviction, as well as their effortless chemistry, makes the film feel like you are a fly on the wall, sneaking looks at the most personal of moments in their darkest bout with life. It is a beautiful film.

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