Ruby in Paradise

Overview

Florida-based independent filmmaker Victor Nuñez gave young actress Ashley Judd her breakthrough role with his original script about a woman taking to the road to escape her past and forge a new future for herself. Feeling smothered and confused after the death of her mother, Ruby Lee Gissing flees her Tennessee home. She drives south to the panhandle of Florida, because she has always dreamed of living near the ocean. Mildred Chambers Dorothy Lyman, the owner of a souvenir shop, hires her as a clerk and ...
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Overview

Florida-based independent filmmaker Victor Nuñez gave young actress Ashley Judd her breakthrough role with his original script about a woman taking to the road to escape her past and forge a new future for herself. Feeling smothered and confused after the death of her mother, Ruby Lee Gissing flees her Tennessee home. She drives south to the panhandle of Florida, because she has always dreamed of living near the ocean. Mildred Chambers Dorothy Lyman, the owner of a souvenir shop, hires her as a clerk and befriends Ruby as well. Soon, there are two men in Ruby's life: Mike McCaslin Todd Field and Mildred's ne'er-do-well son, Ricky Bentley Mitchum. Although Ruby briefly succumbs to the advances of one of them, by the film's end, she is still on her own, understanding that a new chapter of her life is just beginning. In addition to the picture taking home the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Judd was nominated for Best Actress by the New York Film Critics and won Best Female Lead at the Independent Spirits.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Ruby in Paradise is an honorable addition to the growing genre of films about women who take to the road to find themselves, an avenue once only reserved for men in films like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Scarecrow, and Sullivan's Travels. Writer/director Victor Nuñez sidesteps the melodramatic possibilities (Ruby isn't toting a gun and she doesn't have to fight her way out of a possible rape), but he's also careful not to let the film descend into mawkish self-absorption. Ruby is smart, but not so smart that she doesn't fall in with two men whose intentions are hardly honorable. The film's real strength is to avoid offering her a Prince Charming; Ruby understands that she has to find strength in kissing a couple of frogs first. Even the title has a nice ring of ambiguity: What looks like paradise to a Tennessee girl who has never seen the ocean is to some eyes the least glamorous and attractive stretch of Florida beachfront property, nicknamed the Redneck Riviera. Ashley Judd has gone on to bigger things than this film, but few better.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/19/1994
  • UPC: 017153347036
  • Original Release: 1993
  • Rating:

  • Source: Republic Pictures
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ashley Judd Ruby Lee Gissing
Todd Field Mike McCaslin
Bentley Mitchum Ricky Chambers
Allison Dean Rochelle Bridges
Dorothy Lyman Mildred Chambers
Andy Anderson Nursery Family
Bobby Barnes Wanda
George Clark Homeless Family
Judy Courtney
Sharon Lewis TV Weather Anchor
Sharon Lewis TV Weather Anchor
Technical Credits
Victor Nuñez Director, Editor, Screenwriter
Charles Engstrom Score Composer
Jennifer Fong Asst. Director
Sam Gowan Producer
John Iacovelli Production Designer
Burton Rencher Art Director
Marilyn Wall-Asse Costumes/Costume Designer
Peter Wentworth Producer
Pete Winter Sound/Sound Designer
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2002

    Where is the DVD?

    This is Ashley Judd's finest film. It is a beautiful piece of work that should not be missed. Why is it not available on DVD?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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