Ruby in Paradise
DIRECTED BY VICTOR NUNEZ
USA, 1993, 114 MIN
Sponsored by Governor's Office of Film & Entertainment and Film Florida
This film plays part of the special event, “Victor in Paradise: An Afternoon with Victor Nunez, featuring Ruby in Paradise.”
No filmmaker captures the byways and backroads of small-town Florida—and the lives of the wayward travelers who cross them—with as much poetic intensity as Tallahassee native Victor Nunez (Ulee’s Gold). In this deserved winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, he follows the fluctuating fortunes of one Ruby Lee Gissing (Ashley Judd, in her first leading role), who runs away from a dead-end life in Tennessee and heads towards the “Redneck Riviera” of Panama City Beach, only to discover that starting over isn’t quite as easy as she thought it would be. A lovely, understated movie about finding your place in the world, Ruby in Paradise features revelatory performances by Judd and by future Oscar-nominated filmmaker Todd Field (In the Bedroom, Little Children) as the bookish greenhouse worker vying for Ruby’s heart.