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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 Jesse
July 6th, 2007

A little bland, but still really well done

Terrific, I thought. The one story of "the dead girl" interconnects with many other people in different ways and their own stories are just as sad. Director Karen Moncrieff helms this movie and it's evident through the characters and the performances that she does a very good job directing this film.

She is a somewhat unknown talent who was a television actress before she got her big break in 2002 with her directorial debut Blue Car. The film was a moderate success critics-wise with a few nominations at some film festivals and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Moncrieff. After this film, Moncrieff went on to direct an episode of the hit HBO show "Six Feet Under" in 2003 and then vanished for three years. In 2006, she resurfaced with this film. The Dead Girl was more positively received than her debut film, but all-together wasn't a huge success.

After what has been only a brief appearance in Hollywood, Moncrieff is now engraved in my memory as a terrific talent. She is a wonderful writer and I cannot wait for her next project.

This film's flow is uncomfortable, but it's messages are powerful. The story is very intriguing although mildly disturbing and at points in the film can be very bland. Luckily for the lack of excitement, there are five terrific performances that make each part very enjoyable. The Stranger, The Sister, The Wife, The Mother and The Dead Girl are all highlighted by their titular characters' performances. Toni Collette, Rose Byrne, Mary Beth Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden and [especially] Brittany Murphy will give you goosebumps with their heartwrenching characters and the horrible situations they are in. Truly amazing work from all of them.

With only a good story, this film is a showcase for terrific performances and a wonderful director. I have to admit, I am a sucker for great performances and this film houses over ten of them. So in the end, I really liked this film, but was mildly disappointed by the story's flow and abrupt ending.

I still recommend this film to everyone who appreciates independent cinema.

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