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Helen (2009)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,235 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 21 critic

A talented professor is forced to come to terms with her clinical depression.

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Title: Helen (2009)

Helen (2009) on IMDb 6.4/10

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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Sanity comes when you least expect it. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

26 November 2009 (Germany)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
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2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Gillian Anderson originally was set to play "Helen" but dropped out of the film due to a scheduling conflict. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another Powerhouse Performance from Ashley Judd
23 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A painful movie about a woman struggling with severe clinical depression.

Ashley Judd has a knack for giving powerhouse performances in movies no one's ever heard of (did you ever see her in "Bug?"), and she disappears utterly into the character of "Helen," who herself descends into hell when her illness makes an appearance after lying dormant for many years. Let me be clear -- this movie is one long sustained note of agony, and it is not pleasant to sit through. But it's fascinating in its own way, and the thought of it haunted me for days after I'd seen it.

The filmmaker clearly had a very personal and painful relationship with her subject (she lost her childhood friend to clinical depression), and one might think this would make her incapable of retaining the objectivity needed to prevent a film like this from turning into melodrama, but one would be wrong for thinking that.

Grade: A-


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