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The Russell Girl

The Russell Girl
Written byJill Blotevogel
Directed byJeff Bleckner
Music byJeff Beal
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producerBrent Shields
ProducerAndy Gottlieb
Production locationToronto
CinematographyCharles Minsky
EditorGeoffrey Rowland
Running time120 minutes
Production companyHallmark Hall of Fame Productions
Original release
ReleaseJanuary 27, 2008 (2008-01-27)

The Russell Girl is a 2008 American drama television film directed by Jeff Bleckner and written by Jill Blotevogel. It stars Amber Tamblyn as a young medical student who must come to terms with her past. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Jennifer Ehle, and Henry Czerny co-star. The film premiered on CBS on January 27, 2008, as part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame anthology series.


Sarah Russell is a young woman who has recently discovered that she has leukemia right before she also discovers that she has been accepted to Northwestern University's medical program. She decides to put her school on hold so she can travel back home to tell her parents Gayle and Phil about her recent diagnosis. However at the same time Sarah is convinced that this is retribution for a tragic accident that involved her neighbor Lorainne's baby.



Filming took place in Toronto.[1]


Critical reception has been mixed.[2] Variety's Laura Fries wrote "On paper, writer Jill Blotevogel’s script is standard TV melodrama, but Tamblyn’s deeply expressive performance, along with that of Tony-winner Ehle, creates believably heart-wrenching emotions. “The Russell Girl” proves Tamblyn can carry a film. Ehle, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Meryl Streep, is as good onscreen as onstage.[3] She went on to offer "Supporting performances are well done and key to the overall story, especially the father figures eloquently portrayed by DeKay and Henry Czerny. Paul Wesley as Evan, Sarah’s old flame, is a little too good to be true but is a charismatic match to Tamblyn’s Sarah."[3] Post Gazette noted the film's focus on the difficulties of reconciliation and forgiveness, and praised the film's acting.[4] Noted Tamblyn regarding the title character: "There is something lovely about her, that in the face of something terrifying, she has to go back and see things that were never faced before."[5]


  1. ^ Orange, B. Alan (September 28, 2007). "Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Stars in The Russell Girl". MovieWeb. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  2. ^ Russell, Gilbert (January 26, 2008). "The long and short of it: CBS movie drags on interminably". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Fries, Laura (January 24, 2008). "Review: 'The Russell Girl'". Variety. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  4. ^ Heinrich, Jim. "TV Review: Moving 'Russell Girl' examines themes of guilt, reconciliation". Post Gazette. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  5. ^ Blumenstock, Kathy (January 27, 2008). "Actress embraces intrigue of 'The Russell Girl'". Washington Post. Retrieved July 25, 2020.

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