Indie actress Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy) proves she has much more to offer the film world than just her distinctive Jean Arthur meets Glenne Headly voice and bubbly persona with Come Early Morning, her intensely personal debut as a writer/director that earned Adams the Dorothy Arzner Director’s Award. In the film, nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival where it was among just sixteen dramatic titles chosen to be screened at the event out of 1,700 submissions (according to IMDB), actress Ashley Judd turns in one of her finest and most daring performances as thirty-something Lucy Fowler who, in addition to looking after her dysfunctional and argumentative family, works in the construction industry in small town Arkansas, and endures a recurring bad habit of ending her evenings at a local bar, followed by way too many mornings waking up with strangers after forgettable one-night-stands. Adams, also a native of Arkansas and therefore proving the benefit of the old adage of writing what you know, does not take any shortcuts or sugarcoat Lucy’s plight and her daily struggles after Lucy meets Cal Percell (Jeffrey Donovan), a man not contented to just be tossed out like garbage who wants Lucy to acknowledge to her own self that she indeed has personal value. A wonderful cast including Dianne Ladd, Stacy Keach, Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Wilson, and Laura Prepon helps add to the authenticity of the piece and although it’s definitely a downer until Lucy begins to realize that a much-needed lifestyle change is down the road, it’s a very worthwhile film and makes you eager to see the next work from the promising Adams. Come Early Morning won the Best Narrative Feature at the Memphis Independent Film Festival.
From Come Early Morning
“Somebody Pick Up My Pieces” by Willie Nelson & Emmylou Harris
“Silver Wings” by Merle Haggard
“I’m Going Nowhere” by Troy Cook Jr.
“Oh Lonesome Me” by Don Gibson
“The Way I Am” by Merle Haggard
“I Got Mexico” by Eddy Raven
“Leavin’ Ain’t The Only Way To Go” by Eric James Jochmans
“If Anyone Asks You (Callin’)” by Shannon Boshears
“What’s Done Is Done” by Jeannie Max Lane
“Get Back To Loving Me” by Jim Chestnut
“Movin’ Out, Movin’ Up & Movin’ On” by Troy Cook Jr.
“Old Chuck Of Coal” by Billy Joe Shaver
“Killing the Blues” by Malcolm Holcombe