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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

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 MissMovieFan
June 11th, 2007

Wow, what an outstanding ensemble cast! Toni Collette, Rose Byrne, Giovanni Ribisi, Marcia Gay Harden, Josh Brolin, Mary Beth Hurt, Nick Searcy, Brittany Murphy, Piper Laurie, James Franco, Kerry Washington, Bruce Davidson and Mary Steenburgen. Exceptional performances by were given by all of them. It doesn't get much better than that.

"The Dead Girl" centers around the haunting story of people affected by the gruesome and untimely death of one young woman. This movie was superbly and insightfully written and directed by Karen Moncrieff (Blue Car). The film has a very interesting structure broken down into vignettes, which don't intertwine as in Crash or Babel, but they do have significant relevance to one another. This was much more intimate and personal than either of those two big budget films. It's a unique way of looking at a mystery, but every single character that comes into the story grabs your attention and gives you a brief glimpse at their bleak lives. This film creates a sense of how we are all connected and how one person's decision can touch the lives of others in ways you could never imagine.

The cinematography by Michael Grady is terrific, especially the creative use of dark colors and a myriad of close-ups adding to that feeling that these characters are suffocating in their own pain. Each of the character's stories is shot in slightly different ways. The make-up effects on Murphy's corpse were very realistic. The use of nudity was also an interesting choice and added to the raw feel of the film. This was a short movie (only 85 minutes) so the stories of these five women get about 20 minutes screen time each. But it was this precision and honesty that's both disquieting and intriguing. Moncrieff definitely left me wanting more.

"The Dead Girl" is an unsettling and gut-wrenching film with strong and emotionally resonant performances by all. It's a must see if you desire a complex plot filled with emotional drama and noteworthy acting. I give it 4.5 stars.

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