Lorenzo's Oil (1992)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  29 January 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 15,627 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 23 critic

A boy develops a disease so rare that nobody is working on a cure, so his father decides to learn all about it and tackle the problem himself.


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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Professor Nikolais
Deirdre Murphy
Doctor Judalon
Wendy Gimble
Ellard Muscatine
Loretta Muscatine
Mary Wakio ...
Comorian Teacher
Don Suddaby ...
Colin Ward ...
Jake Gimble
Nurse Ruth (as La Tanya Richardson)
Nurse Nancy Jo
William Cameron ...


Until about the age of 7, Lorenzo Odone was a normal child. After then, strange things began to happen to him: he would have blackouts, memory lapses, and other strange mental phemonenons. He is eventually diagnosed as suffering from ALD: an extremely rare incurable degenerative brain disorder. Frustrated at the failings of doctors and medicine in this area, the Odones begin to educate themselves in the hope of discovering something which can halt the progress of the disease. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

disease | ald | brain | hope | medicine | See All (217) »


Some people make their own miracles.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a child's life threatening ordeal | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

29 January 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un milagro para Lorenzo  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)


$7,286,388 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the only film directed by George Miller that is not part of a larger franchise. See more »


Professor Nikolias: Do you know how many children die every year from choking on french fries? Many more than from Adrenoleukodistrophy. You see, ours is what is known as an orphan disease, too small to be noticed, too small to be funded, especially with the iron hand of "Reganomics".
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits pictures of children are shown, which were cured by "Lorenzo's Oil". See more »


Referenced in Community: Contemporary Impressionists (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Susan shines and who would expect any less??
25 June 2002 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

Susan Sarandon is one of the greatest actresses ever, in my opinion. Some may not agree, but I would surely have a strong argument, with her performance in Lorenzo's Oil as my just part of my evidence. I have come to expect a lot of Susan, after her performances in Rocky Horror, Bull Durham and Thelma & Louise and she didn't disappoint me here. As Michaela Odone, the mother of Lorenzo, who has a terminal disease ALD, she perfectly skates that fine line between being a caring parent and a crazed mother obsessed with keeping her son alive, and if the nurses don't like it, too bad. Even Michaela's own sister is told to leave, because she thinks Michaela is losing it. Susan exquisitely shows the pain and sacrifice of a mother watching her son deteriorate while she is basically powerless to stop it. "How can I enjoy anything when he enjoys nothing?" This question truly reveals Michaela's agony. I think she was criminally robbed of an oscar. I would watch this movie for her performance alone. However, this is not all the movie has to offer. Nick Nolte also delivers as the father, Augusto, showing a slightly different angle with his side of the story. Together, they create what I consider to be a masterpiece. 10/10

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