Ruby in Paradise

Director: Victor Nunez
Screenwriters: Victor Nunez

Institute History


Those film critics and professionals who have been watching independent films will surely remember two of the most accomplished works from the early years of production. Gal Young Un and A Flash of Green were prime examples of the unique sensibilities and vision of the best of American independent film, and now their director, Victor Nunez, returns with another outstanding creative achievement. The ironic title refers to Ruby Lee Gising, a young, intelligent. somewhat pensive and introspective woman who, as she puts it. has somehow managed to escape from the Tennessee hills without getting pregnant or beat up and is looking to begin her life anew. She finds a job at a beach emporium in a small town on the "redneck Riviera" on the coast of Florida. (Despite it being the off-season, her persistence wins out.) Ruby begins to keep a journal, "trying to figure the whys of running, of coming here." She discovers within herself a necessary resilience as she deals with the demands and quirks of those around her, from her middle-aged boss and her too-charming, slightly smarmy son, to her newfound friend and working companion, Rochelle, After an unsatisfying round with Ricky, she begins a close relationship with Mike, a soul mate slightly disillusioned about trying to make changes in the world. But ultimately she must face life's struggles on her own.

Ashley Judd is absolutely entrancing in this complex and finely tuned composition. And Nunez's direction and writing don't miss a note. Sensitive and completely engaging, this is one of the most moving films I've seen in a long time. It captures real truths on screen without manipulation or excess. It's a voyage of discovery and self-realization for Ruby, and for us, and leaves us convinced there is something positive about the human condition after all.

Sunday Jan 24 10:15 am
Holiday Village Cinema II

Monday Jan 25 10:30 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III

Thursday Jan 28 6:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre

Friday Jan 29 4:30 pm
Sundance Screening Room

Saturday Jan 30 1:15 pm
Holiday Village Cinema II


— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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