Lauren Lee Smith shines in “Helen”


What’s up with former L Word stars going on to the most depressing sounding movies ever? Last month, we told you Erin Daniels will star in an upcoming feature about a mysterious suicide, and now her on-screen girlfriend who went off to Paris while she died, Lauren Lee Smith, stars alongside Ashley Judd in Helen, a film about mental illness.

While the subject matter of the film, which just debuted at Sundance, is a complete downer, director Sandra Nettelbeck is is getting a lot of attention for her realistic, non-gratuitous portrayal of mental illness.

Judd plays Helen, who, not unlike her character in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, begins to slip into a deep depression, pushing away her husband and daughter. It’s Smith’s character, Mathilda, who is able to comfort Helen (but not like that). Strange, considering she has her own psychological issues complete with violent/suicidal rages.

The L.A. Times wrote of the film:

The story line could have easily slipped into Lifetime original movie land, the excellent writing and acting, rounded out by Lauren Lee Smith portraying a tortured soul whose path crosses Helen’s, saves it from melodramatic moments.

It’s great to hear Smith getting some praise for a leading role, especially alongside a seasoned actress like Judd. With rave reviews at Sundance, Helen will hopefully score a distribution deal and end up in theaters later this year. Does it sound like something you’d want to see?

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