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Helen (2008)

tomatometer

67

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 6

This enigmatic debut British/Irish feature is beautifully photographed and has an intriguing premise, marking its makers out as talent to watch.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 2

This enigmatic debut British/Irish feature is beautifully photographed and has an intriguing premise, marking its makers out as talent to watch.

audience

35

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 162

My Rating

Movie Info

Filmmakers Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy collaborate on this slow-burning mystery about a young loner named Helen (Annie Townsend), who becomes unexpectedly influenced by the persona of a missing girl after agreeing to assume her identity for a police reconstruction of the crime scene. The more Helen identifies with the girl police are searching for, the smaller the gaps in her own fractured life become. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

PG,

Drama

,

Joe Lawlor, Christine Molloy

Sep 28, 2010

New Wave Films

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (6)

You couldn't call this audacious British debut a success; it's too arch, awkward and over-extended for that. But, oddly, it's those very same qualities which make it arresting to watch and which mark out its two directors as talents to keep an eye on.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its beauty and sadness are simply overwhelming. Anglo-Irish cinema gets a new, fully-formed identity.

June 3, 2009
Little White Lies

Given its harrowing theme, Helen is a beautiful and restrained work. The camera quietly and slowly glides along Helen's world, laying bare the loneliness of a marginalised girl who is longing to find a life of her own.

May 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Sunday Times (UK)

Helen is an ambitious film, at once gripping and meditative, that touches with intelligence.

May 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Much like an ambitious video-art installation, it's intriguing, inconclusive and not as challenging as it wants to be.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

With its unusual blending of the formal and the mysterious, the intimate and the impressionistic, Helen is a film of quiet but deadly power.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A moody British/Irish co-production, Helen is beautifully photographed and blessed with a wistfully atmospheric score, but it's a little bit creaky in some of the performances.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

The final sequence, in which the directors boldly refuse any neat tying-up of their story, is bracingly intelligent. Lawlor and Molloy are real talents with a distinctive, if evolving, film-making language of their own.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Molloy and Lawlor's film, arrestingly well-composed and sound-designed, has a woozy suggestiveness that's nothing if not promising.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Mannered and over-contrived, it's a waste of a good idea despite the best efforts of Birkeland, whose elegant framing and rich composition allow the viewer to overlook the sheer joylessness of the piece.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

It's an intriguing premise - but this debut feature from short filmmakers Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor never gets up to speed. It feels like a first draft, with some painfully stilted dialogue.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Low budget Brit drama is intriguing but slow.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Sunday Mirror [UK]
Sunday Mirror [UK]

Just as the story grips you it ends, leaving you mystified beyond the call of the enigmatic plot.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

It's a neat idea, of one life "standing-in" for another and starting afresh, but badly handled. It's a glum 79 minutes.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

It is a plain and simple story which is told so directly and with such a lack of obvious sophistication that it finally triumphs beyond all expectation.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Ultimately, Helen doesn't quite work, but it remains an oddly haunting experience that's definitely worth seeing. Terrific final line, too.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

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