EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|DEAD GIRL, THE (director/writer: Karen Moncrieff; cinematographer: Michael Grady; editor: Toby Yates; music: Adam Gorgoni,; cast: The Stranger:-Toni Collette (Arden), Giovanni Ribisi (Rudy), Piper Laurie (Arden’s Mother). The Sister:- Rose Byrne (Leah Folger), Mary Steenburgen (Beverly Folger), James Franco (Derek), Bruce Davison (Mr Folger), Christopher Allen Nelson (Murray), Joanie Tomsky (Therapist). The Wife:- Mary Beth Hurt (Ruth), Nick Searcy (Carl). The Mother:- Marcia Gay Harden (Melora Kutcher), Kerry Washington (Rosetta), Lee von Ernst (Del), Elizabeth & Gillian Pernoll (Ashley), Bobby Hosea (Detective), Carla Jimenez (Ashley’s Caretaker). The Dead Girl:- Brittany Murphy (Krista Kutcher), Josh Brolin (Tarlow), Kerry Washington (Rosetta), Nick Searcy (Carl); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Eric Karsten/Gary Lucchesi/Tom Rosenberg/Kevin Turen/Henry Winterstern/Richard Wright; First Look International/Lakeshore Entertainment/Pitbull Pictures; 2006)|
dreary Chick Flick
serial killer film, that
puts a human face on the vic as it focuses on
all the women affected by
the serial killer."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A dreary Chick Flick
serial killer film, that
puts a human face on the vic as it focuses on all
the women affected by
the serial killer. Writer-director
Karen Moncrieff ("Blue Car") is more concerned
with getting to know the
victim of a serial killer and the serial killer,
both before and after
the murder rather than the police chase or
building suspense. The
result is an arty different kind of a serial
killer pic that's not
necessarily better--just different. It uses five
("The Stranger," "The Sister," "The Wife," "The
Mother," and "The Dead
Girl") to make its case.
opens with the chapter entitled
The Stranger: When the withdrawn Arden (Toni
Collette) discovers the
mutilated corpse of a girl in the hillside of her
property, she takes a
souvenir from the body and notifies the police.
Arden lives with her
despicable invalid mother (Piper Laurie), who
constantly berates her.
She defies mom bt going out a date with a creepy
supermarket checker (Giovanni Ribisi ).
Graduate school morgue
attendant Leah Folger (Rose Byrne) thinks the murdered
attending of the latest serial killer is her
missing sister because of
certain markings on her arm, but her mom (Mary Steenburgen) refuses to believe
that's her daughter and
vows never to stop looking for her.
Beth Hurt ) and Carl (Nick Searcy) are locked into a
loveless marriage, and
we witness serial killer Carl leave the house
after a nasty verbal
exchange to go out riding at night. The next day
Ruth discovers female
belongings in one of hubby's rent space storage
rooms and now knows
what her hubby does when he leaves her.
Melora Kutcher (Marcia Gay Harden), mother of the serial
killer vic, comes to
LA from her hometown of the state of Washington to
prostitute daughter's body. She returns to the
motel where her daughter
Krista (Brittany Murphy) lived and meets her
roommate (Kerry Washington). She fills the
guilt-ridden mom in on the dark secrets why her
daughter at 16 ran away
from her and takes her to meet Krista's 3-year-old
Girl: Krista after a spat with her
selfish pimp boyfriend (Josh Brolin) hitches a
ride at night with the
stranger Carl to go to Norwalk to give her
daughter a birthday
It's a serious attempt to
convey the real
horror of women who are brutalized by their family
life, men and the
system. The film is well-acted, sincere and
heartbreaking. It's not
entertaining unless one gets off crying into their
hankies. Though the segments are uneven (the least
interesting was The Sister and the most interesting
was The Mother),
overall the film sustains a certain power.
REVIEWED ON 9/14/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ