Ashley Judd is acting depressed


I remember watching Ashley Judd‘s first indie film, Ruby in Paradise, and being bored to tears. Don’t get me wrong: It was a decent film, and she was decent in it. But the plot moved along at the pace of molasses in January in Minnesota. Molasses doesn’t go anywhere in January in Minnesota. Since that time, Judd has spread her wings in everything from episodic television to big-budget Hollywood epics, and I have certainly enjoyed going along for the ride.

In October, Judd will be in Vancouver to begin filming her next project, another indie affair called Helen. Judd is set to play the title character in the new offering from writer/director Sandra Nettelbeck. Some of you might recognize Nettelbeck’s name. She wrote the screenplay for No Reservations, which starred Catherine Zeta-Jones and was a remake of Nettelbeck’s award-winning film Mostly Martha.

The new film focuses on music professor Helen’s struggle with debilitating depression. Despite her family’s attempts to reach her, the only connection Helen is able to make in her depressed state is with one of her young female music students. I can think of a Judd musical connection that would certainly cheer me up.

Just what kind of connection Helen finds with her student isn’t exactly spelled out yet. But clearly Judd isn’t afraid to invoke a little subtextual innuendo, judging by her Frida tango and some of the longing looks she gave Lynn Collins in Bug.

The woman on the other side of the camera isn’t afraid of subtext either. Nettelbeck directed the 1994 indie short A Certain Grace. That film tells the story of Zelda, a photographer whose work explores women who exhibit, well, a certain grace. Alice answers Zelda’s ad for models, and the two connect in ways neither expected — which we all know is the industry’s euphemistic way of saying they fall in love and/or have sex.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t complain if Judd’s professor character were to connect with her female student in a way neither of them expected.

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