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The Dead Girl
6 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Karen Moncrieff

Written By:
Karen Moncrieff

Cast:
Brittany Murphy, Toni Collette, Piper Laurie, Giovanni Ribisi, Rose Byrne, Josh Brolin, Mary Steenburgen, James Franco, Mary Beth Hurt, Nick Searcy, Marcia Gay Harden, Kerry Washington, Bruce Davison

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The Dead Girl (2006)
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Movie Review by Chris
March 2nd, 2009

'The Dead Girl' is a very sad and powerful movie, the atmosphere and plot is both disturbing and depressing in it's own ways. I believe the most emotional thing about the movie is that we have characters whom we can believe are real, dealing with real emotions, and director Karen Moncrieff does an amazing job at showing us that emotional side of each of them. With an excellent cast, great, moody directing and overall a very powerful truth sorrounding the movie, this film is equally great. The film is told from a few different characters, from the mother to the sister, even from whom we think is the murderer's point of view. Each of these characters go through complicated events, each being dealt around the mysterious death of this young girl, who we see as a crackhead at the end of the movie. We feel bad for each of the major characters and openly see this as real, it feels real and the mood helps that out.

Director Karen Moncrieff knows that this film isnt meant to cheer anybody up, it's not meant to inspire us to feel better about ourselves or anything, it's meant to show how the death of a young girl affects these people. These people are her relatives, her mother becoming the most emotional of them all. Arden (Toni Collette) is the woman who ends up finding the dead girl while out on a walk in the desert. At home, she has to deal with a verbally abusive mother who is anything but nice to her. Her mother (Piper Laurie) seems to see Arden as a complete waste and find's everything she does to be wrong. Her we see how complicated their relationship is, things get really rocky when Arden runs off with a boy she meets named Rudy (Giovanni Ribisi) and packs all her stuff in her house.

I felt bad for Arden, just because she takes care of her mother so much and all she ever gets is negative feedback. Toni puts on a strong performance in the movie, a very complicated character whom releases all her emotion at one time, keeping it all bottled in through everything. She found a way to be the quiet, lonesome girl we see her as, and then pull those emotions right to have us feel for her instead of just watch her cry. Leah (Rose Byrne) is the dead girls sister, whom is a medical student at a local school. She see's a therapist daily to talk about the effects of her sisters death, and how she believes a corpse in the school is her sisters. Rose does a great job in her part, I enjoyed the emotional aspect she brought to the character and the way she hid herself from the camera, it made it all a little bit more real.

The mother of the dead girl is one of the most emotional characters though, Beverly (Mary Steenburgen) is an emotional wreck. She goes and visits a friend of her daughters and finds her daughters baby, whom is a little girl, 3 years old. She takes the baby in. I feel extremely bad for the mother because she didnt even know her daughter was dead until about half way through the movie, they thought she was missing. One of the strongest performances in the movie came from Brittany Murphy, who plays as the dead girl. The last look is her for the last few days shes alive, the day before her daughters birthday. Brittany plays well in these emotional parts, with no exception she does a great job as a straight forward druggie/wh*re. I really felt as if she was a real person, and that is a lot to make someone do in a movie.

'The Dead Girl' is an all around character story, meant to have us feel the characters and not just watch them. This movie is absoulutely amazing, though depressing and at times slow, it's a very well done movie.

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