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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Russell Girl


The Russell Girl:
Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie starring Amber Tamblyn (General Hospital) and Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice)


Amber Tamblyn ... Sarah Russell
Jennifer Ehle ... Lorainne Morrisey
Paul Wesley ... Evan Carroll
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Gayle Russell
Tim DeKay ... Tim Russell
Daniel Clark ... Daniel Russell
Henry Czerny ... Howard Morrisey
Ben Lewis ... Jon Morrisey
Max Morrow ... Rick Morissey


from Hallmark-

Sarah Russell's (Amber Tamblyn) rare visit from Chicago to her small hometown is a welcome surprise to her parents (Mastrantonio and DeKay), her 21-year-old brother, Daniel (Daniel Clark), and her former boyfriend, Evan (Paul Wesley).

Sarah decides to withhold the true reason for her homecoming after an old conflict resurfaces during an uncomfortable encounter with Lorraine Morrisey (Ehle), who lives across the street from the Russells with her husband, Howard (Henry Czerny), and two teen-aged boys (Ben Lewis, Max Morrow).

Sarah's sudden presence has a debilitating effect on Lorraine, who rebuffs Sarah's attempts to make amends. However, Sarah musters the courage to keep trying, knowing that she must finally deal with her past as a means of being able to face her future. It takes time for Lorraine to put the past behind her and to grasp that forgiving Sarah will not only ease Sarah's burden but also her own.

Movie Review:


Hallmark should work out a deal with Puffs Kleenex.... it's another mysterious tearjerker. The movie is intriguing as you try to piece together Sarah Russell and (neighbor) Lorainne Morrisey mysterious actions. Eventually it is revealed that Sarah Russell used to babysit for the Morrisey children next door, and their baby girl accidentally fell down the basement steps to her death, while in Sarah's care.

Sarah and Lorainne learn to forgive themselves and each other... releasing their burden of guilt and helping one another, especially now since Sarah is facing her own illness, and is scared to tell her parents. Lorainne and Sarah, eventually, help each other heal through these tragic events and memories. This movie may be rather sad, but also very helpful to those who have lost a child or loved one.

See or Skip:

See, as it is a very moving film. Not suitable for children, but may be helpful to those who are grieving and those who are dealing with unforgiveness.


  1. Pretty corny and highly unlikely the mom would jump from mental illness one moment to rational problem solver the next. And why would a buyer for Macy's wear such tacky, drab clothes as Tamblyn's character did?

    1. Really?!! The Russell Girl is about emotional healing, forgiveness and dealing with tragedy (loss of a child). You comment on clothing style! You are obviously a very "surface" type person and lack insight of human loss & suffering. Get a clue! The movie is a well produced and touching film. I give it 5-stars.

    2. The Russell Girl is a moving film depicting real life situations covering loss, tragedy, healing, forgiveness, coping and overcoming challenges. Bravo to Hallmark but Boo to the previous anonymous reply about the comments made about the clothing worn by one of the characters. Viewer obviously doesn't have a clue, has not experienced loss or is totally a surface type person. Bravo Hallmark! And Boo to this inept short sighted viewer! Get a clue and leave the ignorant remarks private.

    3. aren't you mature. boo a person because they don't have the same opinion about a film as you do. You assume they lack depth, but perhaps they just needed it to be believable. I had the same problem with the film. We had a smart young future med student babysitting a toddler, and she left the basement door wide open with the kid rolling around the kitchen floor? Come on, that's just stupid. Stupid enough for me to find some website to vent my complaint! It's easy to use tragedy to make people feel sad. To me, the film lacked effort selling the story and relied on people's empathy for a parent who loses they're child. I'd say if you want to taught about grieving the loss of a child and forgiveness, you would have better chances with "21 Grams."

    4. Honestly the fact that she left the basement door open is completely believable. Even the smartest people can forget to close a door. As for the mental illness anything can trigger it and many times people can come out of it suddenly and for no apparent reason. So the movie is believable and commenting on a character's wardrobe in such a way is completely shallow and insensitive.

  2. Uh, that's your comment? Sarah's WARDROBE? I think you may have missed the point. Geez!

  3. The Movie is kind of slow, but also quite moving. Also, I liked Amber Tamblyn in it.

  4. In watching this movie, I am drawn to the dance between the mom who lost her child and the person she blames. Both want forgiveness and healing. I enjoyed watching the dance.

  5. What is Sarah's illnes?

    1. She has AML, its a type of lymphoma

  6. The movie is really good but sad.

  7. I would say its a good movie amd i feel for the mother but her not forgiving the girl is hurt the mom mot the girl. Also people make mistakes , were only human.

  8. Took me awhile to ever comment after watching this movie. This movie is more realistic than the critics would have you believe. I experienced loss at a very young age and many more times through my life. I have had times when forgiving myself for something was harder than dealing with any loss. As a graduate and ongoing student of Psychology, understanding mental illness, in this case depression, is much more theory than a perfect science. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for the next person. sometimes pulling the person out of themselves and focusing their thoughts on someone or something else helps them heal. This movie is more a case of grief than mental illness. getting through the grief pulls the mother out of her depression. sarah would never be able to deal with her illness or future if she didn't learn to forgive herself. Not all angels have wings and people come in and out of our lives for reasons we may never understand. Bottom line, this was a very well done movie. Hallmark isn't out to win an oscar, they simply want to make thoughtful and touching movies people can relate to and either make you feel good or know you aren't alone at difficult moments in your life.

  9. She has Leukemia not Lymphoma. Her neighbor Lorraine asked her if she had Lymphoma.

  10. I really liked the movie. It really got to me. The actors were all very good I thought. I would like to see it again, but could not find out when it is on again. If you can help me please send it to me. Thank you for you time.

    1. its on now May 11 2017 at 8 pm CST!

  11. Hey, Anonymous, The Russell Girl is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie and can be purchased through Net's website from Amazon.com or keep checking Hallmark Movies/Mysteries channel. I'm most certain it will be played again soon. I, too, enjoyed this movie!!

  12. This is quite an emotional film, that has touched many of the people, who have watched it deeply. I appreciate all the comments above, from those who have dealt with the same pain. Loss is difficult, at any time, and at any age, and when you think you may have had the power to prevent it, well, that makes the loss even harder to bear. Through time, as with any wound, one can heal, and find forgiveness, and even happiness in living, again.

    For those of you looking for this movie, it is available on DVD, at Amazon.

    And, as Linda also shared above, it is often shown on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. See HMM's 'The Russell Girl' site - for the next air time.

    I hope this information is helpful for you.

    "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."
    -Matthew 5:4

  13. I am commenting as a wife who lost her husband to cancer and years later her granddaughter also to cancer, i can tell you the last thing you care about is what you are wearing. You only think about getting your family through a tragedy that never ends. I have noticed over the years those who have never been through the horror of cancer are just ignorant and really don't care . That's why they think clothes are just so important! Maybe they should concentrate more on the kardashians than things that happen in real life.

    1. I am so sorry for your losses and I appreciate you sharing your stories with us. I agree with you, that while someone is ill, supporting and being with them - is surely the only thing on your mind.

  14. I have never seen a Hallmark movie I didn't like and this one was no disappointment. I like the actors that played in this movie. It was happy and sad. I gave this movie 5 stars because anyone would enjoy this movie.

  15. I enjoyed this movie, loved the message of forgiveness, we could all learn something from this story!

  16. One of my all time movies. The 2 lady leads were fantastic.

  17. I saw this today for the first time. Very moving and hearfelt. Hallmark's dramas are always thought-provoking and sincere. I'm glad I saw this movie.


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