The Dead Girl
Toni Collette finds the body of a girl who has been raped, mutilated, and murdered in a field where she is walking. She reports it to the police, earning a blistering scolding from her bedridden, crazy mother, Piper Laurie, who is basically channeling her own performance in Carrie. There is a deep, dark secret in this household. Toni wants to be tied up and raped … maybe. We never find out anything more about her, as we quickly jump to another character, an assistant coroner who, in her examination of the body, thinks it may be her sister who vanished from a park 15 years ago. Her mother will “never give up hope!” though it’s obvious the sister is dead, and it’s tearing the family apart. And that’s how it goes, as we see different people whose lives are affected by the death of this young woman. The acting is very good, and so is the writing, and some of it is deeply affecting … but it began to seem like a film school exercise, albeit with some real acting talent on board.