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The Dead Girl (2006)

Toni Collette , Piper Laurie , Karen Moncrieff  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Toni Collette, Piper Laurie, Brittany Murphy, Rose Byrne, Nick Searcy
  • Directors: Karen Moncrieff
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2007
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MTFFO0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,754 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Dead Girl" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Director Karen Moncrieff has created short vignettes to show how one murder can affect a plethora of people both related and unrelated to the victim, in her chilling feature, The Dead Girl. The film unfolds with quiet repose, like a series of photographs, as the viewer learns from various points of view how Krista (Brittany Murphy) was murdered, and by whom. Opening with the most disparately related segments, the viewer meets Arden (Toni Colette), slave to her abusive mother (Piper Laurie). Arden, full of hatred that manifests as self-mutilation, is equally scarred by her discovery of Krista's body. Next, we witness Krista's grad-student sister, who, with her knowledge of forensics, combs cadavers for physical clues to find her missing sister's body. The second half of the film is more affecting, with better pacing and more pointed plot, since one sees the motivations behind the serial killer's crime, and later, Krista's mother's devotion to solving the mystery. As the victim's mother meets Krista's old friend, Ashley, and discovers the she left a daughter behind as legacy, there is a sense of rebirth that feels satisfyingly redemptive. The Dead Girl's cinematography reinforces the pervading melancholy so completely that the film itself begins to symbolically represent Krista's dead body. --Trinie Dalton

Product Description

The life of a lonesome caretaker (Toni Collette) is turned upside down when she stumbles upon the body of a murdered girl. This discovery may provide closure for a forensics graduate student (Rose Byrne) whose sister went missing when she was a child. A housewife (Mary Beth Hurt) Makes a disturbing connection between the body and her own husband (Nick Searcy) which leads her to take dark and decisive action. A mother (Marcia Gay Harden) desperately searches for answers about her runaway daughter s life and finds answers in one of her troubled young friend (Kerry Washington). A volatile young woman (Brittany Murphy) goes on an odyssey to get a birthday present to her little girl. Together, these stories paint a devastating portrait of seven women whose lives are linked by a single act of violence and a desire for change.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and riveting drama April 19, 2007
By MattW
Format:DVD
An amazing all star cast show off serious acting chops in a dark drama/thriller told in segments and concentrating on different points of view and experiences revolving around the death of a young woman. Harrowing, moving, and suspenseful, the films draws a sudden and suprising conclusion that is both realistic and shocking. A great character piece that paints complicated portraits of its character both both good, bad, and neurotic. I would describe the film as being very dark but told with such conviction and lack of heavy handiness that it's also very entertaining. Toni Collete as always gives an incredible performance alongside quasi walking legend Piper Laurie, Mary Steenburgen, Giovanni Ribisi, Kerry Washington, and many others including stand out performances by an amazing Mary Beth Hurt and a right on target Brittany Murphy (nobody does almost-insane and/or drugged out better than her). A good film elevated by an amazing cast and inspired performances.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest Film of the Year June 23, 2007
Format:DVD
Absolutely the most remarkable piece of cinema I've seen all year, and one of those rare gems that gives us reason for hope - there actually are brilliant directors and cinematographers out there even though they toil in the fields of low pay and unrecognition. As other reviewers have mentioned it seems unbelievable that I'd never heard a word about this film... but of course I know much more than I need to know about Spiderman 12 and Pirates of the Caribbean 9, all of it drilled into my skull every hour of every day for weeks.

There's not a note of music, a sound, a line, an expression or a bit of body language in this deeply moving film that doesn't ring true. Welcome to the real Los Angeles.

Karen Moncrieff deserved or deserves an Oscar for Best Director, and I doubt there's any film that can match this one for such unfailing brilliant performances by an obviously dedicated cast.

If you're serious about films, don't miss The Dead Girl. It's a hard one to shake off.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Search for Ways to Fill Holes in the Soul May 17, 2007
Format:DVD
Karen Moncrief has written and directed this terrifying, searching, agonizing, and exceptionally fine story of the responses of five different people to the discovery of a dead girl. By dividing her story into chapters named after The Stranger, The Daughter, The Mother, The Wife, The Sister, and The Dead Girl she offers us fully realized characters, each of whom is affected by the opening discovery of a mutilated young dead girl's body. The technique of non-linear film is not new, but Moncrief raises it to a new, powerful level, a fact that makes this film one of the more sophisticated and successful of the past few years.

Arden (Toni Collette) is a homely frail girl who accidentally discovers the dead girl, taking a necklace from the corpse before reporting the discovery to the police. She is a caretaker for an invalid, foul-mouthed cruel mother (Piper Laurie) who berates Arden for being so ugly and for involving them in a murder case. Arden flees, meets The Stranger Rudy (Giovanni Ribisi), a tattooed, scary appearing guy who is attracted to Arden because she appears so innocent. He courts her with tales of serial killer manners and yet eventually gains Arden's fractured self-perception trust with physical contact. The next chapter introduces Leah (Rose Byrne) who works with Derek (James Franco) in the mortuary where the dead girl's body has been deposited for autopsy. Leah discovers markings on the dead girl that convince her this is the sister who has been missing for 15 years, a fact that her parents (Mary Steenburgen and Bruce Davison) refuse to accept. Leah's tenuous hold on reality is altered by Derek's consolation and physical attention.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Hard Film to Watch January 11, 2008
Format:DVD
My husband couldn't handle this movie - he left the room and had nightmares all night. The next day, neither of us could get this film out of our heads. The acting is incredible; it is a dark, foreboding film that you know will have no happy ending. Brittany Murphy - who plays the drug-addicted prostitute found dead - should get an Oscar for this film. If the studio doesn't fight for her nomination it is a crime against art.
This film is riveting, and yet, I have to warn anyone who is extra sensitive to be prepared: it's not a pleasant ride.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent drama November 17, 2008
Format:DVD
After reading the little explanation of this movie I decided to give it a go. Very glad I did.
This movie is reminiscent of 'Wicker Park'. It tells a story from a number of vantage points without ever losing the base plot. Very difficult deed! And very well executed.
Other reviewers have gone over the plot, so I won't do that. I will say that every actor is in prime form, I honestly couldn't pick one from the other as far as contributing their skills to this movie. The photography, sets, music/sound.... it all comes together here!
The story is absolutly intriguing and gripping. I was taken in with the first vignette, with Toni Colette who is one of my favorites. The story never loses pace and branches out in a decided and careful manner as to complete the telling and bring everything full circle.
I highly recommend this movie above most others I have seen lately. Top notch performances really take this a step above the rest.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars lots of stories
This movie is non stop drama. it has so many stories connected to each other. its a great storyline. like how everyone touches someone's life.
Published 1 month ago by Liza Ackbar
5.0 out of 5 stars The Deal Girl with Kerry Washington
I bought the movie to see Kerry Washington's acting and I was impressed (as usual)! The movie's plot is actually really good and fun times throughout. Read more
Published 2 months ago by CameraLady
2.0 out of 5 stars After 5 Minutes Too Boring
NOT one of her better movies, after 5 minutes I did not like the creepy corpse that kept staring at you…
Don't waste your money.
Published 2 months ago by Delvina Belzil
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Cast Shines In This Collage Of Secrets and Heartbreak
Rented this from the local public library, and checked out the "authoritative" reviews, which, as it turned out, did not do justice to this eighty-three minute gem. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Martin Brynildsen
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dead Girl
Ok this move was a great movie, I am so glad I have it in my Collection! As I could not imagine it without it! I LOVE BRITTANY MURPHY!
Published 9 months ago by Anthony
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the ride
When the movie first started, I thought it was going to be a disappointment, but I was wrong. The smooth transition from one life to the next, connecting the lives of a group of... Read more
Published 14 months ago by D. DaSilva
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking.
The Dead Girl is broken down into 5 different stories. Each story lasts for about 15-20 mins and each story surrounds around "the dead girl" who is found in a wooded area in... Read more
Published 14 months ago by ADRIENNE MILLER
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Sent this one to a friend and she was enthralled. It arrived fast and was enjoyed as a gift. FYI: everyone should see this creepy and all-too-human movie, well-scripted and cast.
Published 14 months ago by Daniel J. Haley
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie!
This movie had me on the edge of my seat! If you enjoy twisted type thrillers , you will like this movie.
Published 15 months ago by Grahamscrackers
4.0 out of 5 stars edgy fractured tales surrounding the murder of a woman...
The Dead Girl (2006) is a thoughtful and poignant film that features five separate stories that are all related to a single event, the murder of a young woman. Read more
Published on January 21, 2012 by trebe
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