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The Dead Girl

Release date: December 29, 2006
Directed by: Karen Moncrieff
Written by: Karen Moncrieff
Produced by: Eric Karten, Gary Lucchesi...
Running time: 85 minutes

The murdered body of a young girl (Brittany Murphy) is found by Arden (Toni Collette), a lonesome caretaker living with her irascible mother (Piper Laurie). This leads to Leah (Rose Byrne), a forensics graduate student whose sister went missing as a child. The story continues with Ruth (Mary-Beth Hurt), who discovers a disturbing connection between her husband and the girl's murder. Finally, Melora (Marcia Gay Harden) is a mother searching for answers about her runaway daughter Krista's troubled life and finds help in her quest from another troubled young woman.

Cast & Characters

Toni Collette (Arden), Piper Laurie (Arden’s Mother), Giovanni Ribisi (Rudy), Rose Byrne (Leah), James Franco (Derek), Mary Steenburgen (Leah’s Mother), Bruce Davison (Leah’s Father), Mary Beth Hurt (Ruth), Nick Searcy (Carl), Marcia Gay Harden (Melora Kutcher), Kerry Washington (Rosetta), Brittany Murphy (Krista Kutcher), Josh Brolin (Tarlow)

Production Notes

Director Karen Moncrieff got the idea for this project when she was a juror on a young’s prositute’s murder trial a few years ago. In an interview with Film Magazine she stated that she “had certain preconceptions about her that were not positive. At the same time, I recognized my tendency to feel that, as the victim of a crime, she must be some kind of innocent. The testimony of the various witnesses, people who were there to corroborate the killer’s story, the victim’s mother; the woman who took care of her children, her johns, other prostitutes, and one woman who had been her lover, forced me to confront the complexities and the wholeness of her life. After the month long trial, I found the tremendous waste of her life stayed with me. The film remained little seen when it released theaters but won rave reviews for its ensemble acting. The film won the Grand Prize at the 2007 Deauville Film Festival and received three nominations for the Independent Spirit Award.