White Oleander (2002)

PG-13   |    |  Drama


White Oleander (2002) Poster

A teenager journeys through a series of foster homes after her mother goes to prison for committing a crime of passion.


7.1/10
29,077

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  • Alison Lohman at an event for White Oleander (2002)
  • Pierce Brosnan and Aidan Quinn at an event for White Oleander (2002)
  • Renée Zellweger and Noah Wyle in White Oleander (2002)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer in White Oleander (2002)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer at an event for White Oleander (2002)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer and Renée Zellweger in White Oleander (2002)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


13 October 2002 | janefondafan
10
| extremely powerful film
First of all, those guys out there who see the posters and advertising and assume this is some sappy chick flick, you couldn't be more wrong. What it is, is an extraordinarily moving piece of work. It's the kind of film that hits you right in the pit of your stomach. Personally, my mind has a tendancy to wander during movies, but with this one, I was glued to it right from the first frame to the last. It's been awhile since I found myself so touched by a movie.. and it reminds me of why I love movies in the first place. The performances here are top notch. Alison Lohman (Astrid), I never even heard of her before going to see this... but she tackles this difficult role like she has the experience of an award-winning veteran. I'm not even sure most of the big names could pull off this role like she did. Michelle Pfeiffer (Ingrid), who I was never a big fan of, is also excellent...she has a character who's so beautiful, yet so repulsive at the same time. The mother/daughter relationship her character has with Alison's is probably the most unconventional i've seen in a film, and that's what makes it so compelling. Renee Zellweger, as Clare, also gives her best performance here. Her relationship with Astrid is a beautiful but ultimately a tragedy one, mainly due to Clare's infatuation with her cheating husband Mark (Noah Wyle), but I won't give it away of course! ;)

All I really have to say is, if you want to see a movie with strong performances throughout and an excellent story that will leave you fully satisified (and personally touched) when you leave the theatre, this one's for you. I highly reccomend it to everyone! One last thing I should say though... quite often when a movie comes out that's based on a book, the cliche seems to be for people to say "it wont be/wasnt as good as the book". Now, I never read the book to this movie... but the way I look at it, people need to judge the movie for the movie... not the book. If the directors were to follow the book word for word and detail for detail, we'd be left with a movie that would probably take days to watch. The advantage of a book is that you can have a complete knowledge of what the characters are feeling inside their head, which of course you can't always get in a movie unless they make it obvious or tell you how they're feeling truly. The advantage of a movie is that it brings it all to life... and let's you witness it for what it'd be like if you lived out the story. After all, if you were witnessing these actions in real life, you wouldn't have a book to help you understand what thoughts caused them. So, to all the people who go hating a movie before they even see it, just because it's based on a book... keep in mind that the book and movie are essentially two different things and that both have their advantages. I've honestly never seen a based-on-the-book movie where people were completely satisified with how it was translated to film. You can like both the book and movie separately, you know! :)

My rating: 10 out of 10... HIGHLY RECCOMENDED!!!

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many people in the movie industry felt sure that Michelle Pfeiffer would receive an Oscar nomination for her turn as Ingrid Magnussen, but this movie's failure at the box-office, coupled with the aggressive marketing campaign for Chicago (2002) actresses Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the same category, Pfeiffer failed to get a nomination.


Quotes

Paul: I was born addicted to heroin.
Astrid: And what was that like?
Paul: I don't know - I was out of rehab by the time I was six months old.


Goofs

When Uncle Ray and Astrid are outside watching the meteor shower he lights a cigarette but when he takes a puff and pulls it away to blow out the smoke there is no smoke and the cigarette is not lit. When Starr comes out and asks what he is doing the cigarette is lit and smoldering.


Alternate Versions

Additional scenes featured on the DVD release that is not from the final print:

  • A scene where Astrid defends her brother (in the first foster home) after Starr beats him up.
  • A scene immediately after featuring Astrid and her brother (still in the first foster home) lying to the parademic asking how he broke his arm.
  • A scene where Claire can't decide which cereal they want to eat for breakfast and makes Astrid choose one.
  • A scene featuring Claire and Astrid riding home in the car after visiting Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer). Claire tells Astrid what Ingrid told her.
  • A scene where Astrid is drawing Claire's picture and Mark asking Astrid if she took his pen.
  • A scene where Astrid leaves to go back to Mac. Mark asks Astrid if she wants to go to Claire's funeral in which she declines to. He then gives her a lot of money before getting to the van.


Soundtracks

Why'd They Make Me Bang
Written by
R. Patterson and J. Martinez
Performed by Bucwhead
Courtesy of Delicious Vinyl

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama

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