6.7/10
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76 user 86 critic

The Dead Girl (2006)

Trailer
2:23 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

The clues to a young woman's death come together as the lives of seemingly unrelated people begin to intersect.

Director:

Karen Moncrieff

Writer:

Karen Moncrieff
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toni Collette ... Arden
Piper Laurie ... Arden's Mother
Donnie Smith ... Cop 1
Michael Raysses Michael Raysses ... Cop 2
Earl Carroll Earl Carroll ... Reporter
Dorothy Beatty Dorothy Beatty ... Grocery Checker
Eva Loseth Eva Loseth ... Grocery Store Customer
Giovanni Ribisi ... Rudy
Rose Byrne ... Leah
Joanie Tomsky ... Therapist
James Franco ... Derek
Christopher Allen Nelson ... Murray
Mary Steenburgen ... Leah's Mother
Bruce Davison ... Leah's Father
Kate Mulligan Kate Mulligan ... Party Girl
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, a story about a dead girl, told in five chapters. A woman, miserable in her circumscribed life caring for her domineering mother, finds a body. Somehow, this discovery allows her to change. At the morgue, the sister of a girl missing for 15 years believes the body is that of her sister; this liberates her. An older woman, married to a man who pays her little attention, finds evidence in a storage unit; how will she handle it? The mother of the dead girl, who left home some years before, visits the last place her daughter lived and makes her own discoveries. Last, we flash back to the victim's final day. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Stranger, The Sister. The Wife. The Mother. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, grisly images and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 April 2007 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

A Garota Morta See more »

Filming Locations:

Acton, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,789, 5 January 2007

Gross USA:

$17,311, 7 January 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In segment one, "The Stranger", Piper Laurie played the same type of verbally abusive mother that she portrayed in the original "Carrie" 30 years earlier. See more »

Goofs

When Melora meets Rosetta, her face is beaten up. When she takes Rosetta out to eat, her face looks normal. When she drops Rosetta back at the motel, her face is a mess again. See more »

Quotes

Melora: Did she tell you why she ran away?
Rosetta: She probably wasn't happy
Melora: Did she tell you why?
Rosetta: Other than her stepfather sticking his dick in her? I don't think so, she probably thought "hey man fuck it, if I'm going to do it I might as well get paid" and her mother was too much of a dish rag to do anything about it, you know typical the husband or the kids they always trust the husband...
Melora: Did she tell you that?
Rosetta: What?
Melora: That her mother knew and chose him?
Rosetta: She probably likes it right? Probably took some of ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the theatrical release, there are two references to Arden's dead brother: when her mother mentions him, causing Arden's frenzy, and when she packs his picture before she leaves. There is an extended sequence that shed light on this relationship, and the shared tragedy that bound Arden to her mother for many years. See more »

Soundtracks

Standing Above The Stars
Written by Lianne Smith
Performed by Rosine
Courtesy of Rag and Bone Shop
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User Reviews

 
My Only Sunshine
4 March 2007 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Who is Karen Moncrief and where did she come from? The writer/director of this very interesting, complex "little" depressing film really took me by surprise with a tremendous script and creatively photographed look at how 5 stories intersect thanks to one dead body found in a field. I know most are already thinking "Crash" or "Babel", but this film is much more intimate and personal than either of those two big budget films.

The story begins with emotionally bankrupt Toni Collette finding the body in a field near the home she shares with her physically invalid, emotionally abusing mother, played with brimstone by Piper Laurie (who has quite the history of tough love Mom's!). The depths of Collette's loneliness are played out in one of the most painful first kisses ever filmed on her date with Giovanni Ribisi.

On the surface, what appears to be the most "normal" family, we get the lovely Rose Byre preparing the body for burial and believing (or more truthfully hoping) that the body belongs to her long missing sister. The stress and depression in the family is so painful as mother Mary Steenburgen refuses to "give up" hope and dad Bruce Davison is just helpless as the women in his life are all lost to him. While Byrne thinks the body belongs to her sister, she feel re-born and actually leaves her fetal position to date James Franco. However, soon all returns to "normal".

Mary Beth Hurt and Nick Searcy run a storage unit business next to their home and they spend their time together arguing and going emotionally numb. Searcy escapes for long drives and comes home with no explanation. A little detective work by Hurt has her proving her love and loyalty to a man who does not deserve it.

Marcia Gay Harden is the mother of the found dead girl. She goes searching for answers as to why her daughter ran away from home and how the daughter lived. The answers aren't pretty and most come from a hooker played by Kerry Washington. After much heart-break, the only sunshine in the film is discovered.

The films final chapter delivers the last piece of the puzzle as we see Brittany Murphy (the dead girl) and her struggles to make some type of life for herself. Again, painful to watch, but filled with emotional drama.

These stories are broken out here for a message. The acting of each of those named above is profound and never once over the top. Each story could be its own film, yet the brief glimpse provided into each life is just about all we can take. Ms. Moncrief has created a gem and a view into life's pain that crosses all genders, races and socio-economic boundaries. OK, I did smile once ... when I heard that Brittany Murphy's character has the last name KUTCHER!!


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