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Come Early Morningcomes as a mid-afternoon career correction for Ashley Judd, an actress oft dissed in the years since her fresh, breakout performance in the indie gemRuby in Paradise. No mystery there: what other lovely and talented woman has appeared in such a string of crummy serial-killer movies? By redemptive contrast,Come Early Morningsuggests a de facto sequel toRuby13 years down the road. Again Judd limpidly portrays a young Southern woman, Lucy, trying to get free of a debilitating heritage--dysfunctional family on every side--and find her way to some kind of contentment. Lucy makes more bad decisions than Ruby did. For her, early morning isn't so much a new day as the hour when she faces waking up with one more guy she couldn't care less about. She plans it that way, because commitment is something she flees with grim resolve. But she also knows that the program isn't working for her.

The writing-directing debut of another offbeat actress, Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy), this is a beautifully observed film, free of condescension toward its Arkansas folk, with an appreciative eye for the plain beauties of small-town life and semi-rural roads, and a sharp ear for three-cushion dialogue. "Did I miss Easter?" Lucy's housemate quietly cracks when she finds Lucy dressed for Sunday-go-to-meetin'; Lucy's trying to reconnect with her estranged dad (a magical, almost wordless performance by the wonderful Scott Wilson), who's started attending "a new holy-roller church." She also meets a newcomer (Jeffrey Donovan, excellent) who ought to be Mr. Right ... but nothing quite plays out according to formulaic expectation in this movie--among the most satisfying of 2006, which most people are going to have to discover on DVD. --Richard T. Jameson

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CastAshley Judd, Tim Blake Nelson, Jeffrey Donovan, Jason T. Davis, Richard Lee Crow
DirectorJoey Lauren Adams
Screen WriterJoey Lauren Adams
DVD Release Date:  March 20, 2007
Runtime:  97 minutes
Studio:  Weinstein Company
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review by . November 10, 2008
"Come early morning" is about a woman that is tired of her drinking habits, sleeping around and her relationship with her family. The movie was not cohesive enough to deliver a comprehensible plot. The movie was all over the place; never explaining the relationships between the different characters (which remained vague at best), nor the process of growth for Ashley Judd's character, it was merely implied. The movie does not know where to go. Although Judd's performance was good, the rest of the …
review by . April 12, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
COME EARLY MORNING marks the writing and directing debut of Joey Lauren Adams who elects to share a bit of her birthplace atmosphere in Arkansas and while the story is sound and the writing evocative of the personal turmoil of little towns populated by good but bored people, there is nothing new here. But just the opportunity to see gifted actress Ashley Judd strut her stuff is reason enough to watch this little film and makes us wonder where has she been since her 2004 stint in 'De-Lovely'. She …
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