The Russell Girl

The Russell Girl is a 2008 television movie directed by Jeff Bleckner. It premiered on CBS on January 27, 2008 as part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame anthology series and stars Amber Tamblyn as a young medical student who must come to terms with her past.[1]

The Russell Girl
The Russell Girl film poster.jpg
Written byJill E. Blotevogel
Directed byJeff Bleckner
StarringAmber Tamblyn
Jennifer Ehle
Henry Czerny
Theme music composerJeff Beal
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
CinematographyCharles Minsky
EditorGeoffrey Rowland
Running time120 minutes
Original networkCBS
Original release
  • January 27, 2008 (2008-01-27)


Sarah (Amber Tamblyn) 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 (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and Phil (Tim DeKay) 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 (Jennifer Ehle) baby.



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. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Ehle and Mastrantonio Cast in CBS-Hallmark Movie "The Russell Girl"". Playbill. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  2. ^ Russell, Gilbert. "The long and short of it: CBS movie drags on interminably". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Fries, Laura. "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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