Helen

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In this highly personal but histrionic melodrama from the director of Mostly Martha (2001), Ashley Judd admirably—and sometimes literally—throws herself into the eponymous role as a music professor whose intensifying suicidal depression uproots the lives of her husband (Visnjic) and daughter. Unraveling and prone to trashing rooms like an addled rock star, Helen remains both inconsolable (except by Lauren Lee Smith’s equally unstable student, who implausibly becomes her lesbian lover) and unknowable. Two hours of knife-wielding and shrieking later, nothing significant or profound is gleaned from her despair.—Aaron Hillis

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