November 20, 2006 12:00 PM

Ashley Judd, Jeffrey Donovan


Sometimes there’s a single line in a movie that floors you, reaching to the heart of the story but without resorting to pulling out the yellow highlighter. It comes a third of the way into Come Early Morning, an unpretentious, solid little film about a 30-plus woman (Judd) in the rural South who finds herself waking up too many mornings with hangovers and only a hazy idea of who the stranger next to her might be. She is finally, for a change, dating a nice guy (Donovan), who, as they fall into bed, asks her, “When was the last time you kissed someone sober?” Click. Her journey toward sobriety, and self-knowledge, isn’t an easy one, but it’s realistic, hard-fought and moving, and Judd gives a gutsy, heartfelt performance. (R)

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