Helen has it all: friends, an attentive second husband, a cheerful teen daughter, musical talent, and a university teaching job. Then, something's amiss: is her husband cheating, does she have a fatal disease, does her past haunt her? There's a quick hospitalization, a disclosure, a bond with one of her students, Mathilde, and a dark chasm that seems to be opening in front of her: can Helen do anything about the problem she won't discuss, or will it swallow her? Written by
Ashley Judd is one of my favourite actresses and I've been waiting to see this movie for so many years now! It turns out that 'Helen' is not an easy film; it is very challenging to watch for many reasons!
It is true that the film is unapologetically slow and heavy in the first place! But it allows us to really measure how deeply clinical depression can affect all the aspects of a person's life! Ashley Judd delivers an incredible performance in that respect... And we, as spectators, are feeling helpless to witness Helen's life falling apart without her being able to take care of herself through her painful journey!
This is why 'Helen' is a difficult movie: It is very demanding to follow someone who cuts herself from you right from the start, who reaches the bottom of a nightmare and asks us to stay there with her without asking any question! This is what Helen's family have to face during the movie and this is what we have to face as well, because Helen goes to a place that we cannot understand, where we cannot empathize, that we cannot use as our own catharsis!
'Helen' is not a bad movie! But you have to be willing to surrender, to let go of all your personal demands if you want to appreciate the rich and challenging adventure that this movie has to offer! I recommend it!
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