Helen (film)

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Helen 2009 movieposter.jpg
Movie poster
Directed bySandra Nettelbeck
Produced byChristine Haebler
Judy Tossell
Screenplay bySandra Nettelbeck
StarringAshley Judd
Goran Višnjić
Lauren Lee Smith
Music byJames Edward Barker
Tim Despic
CinematographyMichael Bertl
Edited byBarry Egan
Distributed byE1 Entertainment Distribution
Release date
Running time
120 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million

Helen is a 2009 American drama film starring Ashley Judd and directed by Sandra Nettelbeck. It follows a professor (Judd) who overcomes severe depression after a massive breakdown, with the help of new friend Matilda (Smith). Filming took place late 2007 in Vancouver.


  • Ashley Judd as Helen Leonard, a college professor who is married to David, the ex-wife of Frank and mother of Julie.
  • Goran Višnjić as David Leonard, Helen's husband and Julie's stepfather.
  • Lauren Lee Smith as Mathilda, a young woman who Helen befriends during her treatment.
  • Alexia Fast as Julie, Helen and Frank's daughter and David's stepdaughter.
  • Alberta Watson as Dr. Sherman
  • Leah Cairns as Susanna
  • David Hewlett as Frank, Julie's biological father and Helen's ex-husband. It is later revealed that Frank has been aware of Helen's fragile mental state and her illness for quite some time which presumably later caused their marriage to fail.
  • David Nykl as John
  • Chelah Horsdal as Kara
  • Conrad Coates as Stephen


The film was released at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009, and later at the Atlantic Film Festival in Canada. Lauren Lee Smith won the award for Best Supporting Actress at the 2010 Leo Awards, beating co-star Alexia Fast. It was nominated for Best Feature and Production Design. Helen was released to DVD in August 2010. It currently holds a score of 44% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 9 reviews.

External links[edit]