Grade: A

Cast: Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush

Director: Neil Armfield

Rated R for pervasive depiction of drug addiction, disturbing images, language, sexual content and nudity

Runtime: 108 min

Release Company: Think Film

      In this story of pain and addicting pleasure we find a “love triangle with a hero, a heroine and (the ultimate villain) heroin.” The story deals with a young couple, Dan (Heath Ledger) and Candy (Abbie Cornish), in love and addicted to heroin. As the drug quickly takes over, their life of poetry and art becomes a haze, and the downward spiral of drugs, sex and deceit becomes a vivid reality. They go from heaven to earth and finally hell. Candy sells her body for money to buy drugs and their relationship begins to suffer the consequences. They lose sight of their dreams and eventually of one another.

      When I walked into this film I was really anticipating something like Trainspotting or Requiem for a Dream. A fantastic journey into the life of a junkie, complete with hallucinations and far-fetched scenarios but this movie had neither. It was a real and quite unrefined image of the life of a junkie. As much as I had hoped for a Trainspotting, I was not disappointed in this film. It was genuine and raw and blatant in its images and as you watch the couple lose control you begin to lose yourself with them. The film was straight Indie, no special effects, no grandiose sets, it was a character driven piece and the acting was Oscar worthy. This film plays like a disturbing home movie; the only specific narrative in this story was the division of the film into three sections and they were titled as such. Heaven, the couple’s ascent into pleasure, in what is essentially the honeymoon period of their heroin addiction, earth, how they begin to realize the painful realities of living as a functioning heroin addict and hell, how they lose the ability to control their addiction (if they ever could) and their lives begin to degrade. In hell, the drug divides and conquers their relationships and eventually their mental state. This movie is so poignant because it is so real. The chemistry between Cornish and Ledger is overwhelming. I actually believed them in love and in pain. Their enduring personal obsession with scoring a hit, their drug induced passivity to life and ultimately their inability to cope with the demands of a ferocious appetite for heroin, tears them away from their real love and passion, one another. This movie is in limited release but if you can find it, experience it! By Cat Elrod- this review also available at

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