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Lorenzo's Oil
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Reviews & Ratings for
Lorenzo's Oil More at IMDbPro »

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41 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

A story about hope.

9/10
Author: Dennis Schauw from netherlands
2 February 2004

Lorenzo's oil

A true story about a battle for the life of Lorenzo who suffers from ALD. A rare disease which destroys all basic functions like speech and movement and in the end takes the life of the person. In this movie the parents fight the clock by doing their own research and investigation.

This is a true masterpiece, about hope. Acting and directing are fabulous. You can feel the cast being involved. I have seen a a lot of movies of Nick Nolte , but this must be one of his better ones. Here he proves he can do more than "another 48 hours". Nick is convincing in every way in this movie, even though he has a very hard part playing an Italian(Augusto Odone).

Susan Sarandon plays the mother of Lorenzo. It's incredible how she plays the part of a mother near the end of her powers pushing away everybody that does not share the same faith in saving the life of her son.

This movie is underrated, and should be given a chance. I seen a lot of movies and normally i do not watch this kind of movies, they cannot hold m y attention for long. But this one is different and really heartbreaking.

I had never heard about ALD. So today i did some investigation, and found out that Lorenzo still lives and you can write him if you want

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38 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Turning misfortune into miracles; turning tragedy into triumph

Author: Dana Wang from Taipei, Taiwan
1 March 2004

This is the true story of Lorenzo Michael Murphy Odone, who, at the age of seven, suffered from a rare, incurable brain disease called ALD. The doctors said there was nothing they could do and that he would die within 24 months of diagnosis. Lorenzo's parents, Augusto Odone (Nick Nolte) and Michaela Odone (Susan Sarandon) decided to gather all the information they could find on their own. Day by day, night by night, from laymen to dedicated researchers, they discovered an awful lot more about the disorder than doctors and scientists. As Lorenzo's condition deteriorated, they never ceased to soldier on. Eventually, Augusto Odone solved the mystery and invented a prescription- a special form of olive oil which could help boys (the disease is passed on by the mothers to their sons, not their daughters) with ALD. Because of his contribution, Odone received an honorary medical degree. And at the age of fourteen, Lorenzo could make some movements and began trying to communicate with the outside world with a computer...

I wept several times when watching this film. Notwithstanding all the odds, the Odones struggled and conquered their misfortune, and their achievement was outstanding. This is an intense drama with fine acting and something to think about deeply.

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33 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

This highly emotional story features peerless acting

10/10
Author: Pelrad from Shanghai, China
24 January 1999

A family returns to the U.S. from Africa only to discover that their son has acquired a very rare disease called A.L.D. While told to give up and let their son die because there is no cure in sight, the father goes to the library everyday after work to research into a possible cure. The greatest opposition he receives comes from the doctors who tell him to "let the professionals handle it" and from other parents whose children have the same illness who condemn him for "spreading false hopes". While scientists around the world are competing over each other to find a cure, Lorenzo's parents bring them together to consult. My all-time favourite film, this highly emotional true story features peerless acting, especially from Sarandon.

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28 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Gripping and moving drama

Author: gldie from Miami, Florida
20 June 2000

"Lorenzo's Oil" is a movie about the triumph of human spirit and dogged determination. This movie is based on the true story of Michaela and Agusto Odone, whose child Lorenzo was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a degenerative nerve disorder that afflicts only little boys and is always fatal. Michaela and Agusto are determined to find a cure or treatment for this baffling disease while their son slowly and painfully deteriorates. That is the basic premise for the movie, but it is about much more than that.

Michaela and Agusto love their son with unwavering selflessness, and are willing to do anything in their power to save him. This movie is a gripping, touching drama that pulls you in and engulfs you, as finding a cure engulfs the Odones. By the end of the film you will feel a mix of emotions. This movie will give you a newfound respect for the mental and emotional power humans possess.

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Really,really great!

Author: kimnil80 from Larvik, Norway
14 October 2002

Wow!,what a film.Based on a true story about little boy Lorenzo who gets an incurable disease called ALG.Parents never gives up to get a cure for the disease.And a cure there is,in form of an oil.This is an heartwarming,interesting and very important movie.Great performances all around.Especially Nick Nolte who did a great job with his italian accent.Definately one of his best performances. Sarandon and Ustinov are also great.Not to mention the little boy who played Lorenzo,fantastic. However this movie is not so well known.For us who have seen it,we all agree this is one outstanding movie,that sticks to your mind for a long time...

Rating 8/10

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Heartbreaking tale of the triumph of the human spirit; Sarandon's best work ever

Author: george.schmidt (gpschmidt67@gmail.com) from fairview, nj
11 April 2003

LORENZO'S OIL (1992) **** Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, Peter Ustinov, Zack O' Malley Greenburg, Kathleen Wilhoite. Powerful and educational true life story of Augusto and Michaela Odone who learn their young son is stricken with a devestating and rare disease (adrenoleukodystrophy or ALD) with no cure. The parents take on the awesome task of finding hope when doctors and support groups won't make an effort in learning how to conquer their son's debilitating nerve disorder. Although there are some distrubingly realistic depictions of a child suffering, the film never insults or preaches, but instead, enlightens. Sarandon, in my opinion was cheated out of an Oscar (she lost to Emma Thompson for "Howard's End"), gives the performance of her career and Nolte is wonderful as the frustrated father who risks everything in his research odyssey. Effectively directed by George Miller ("Mad Max") who also has a degree as a doctor (!)

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

An Underappreciated Master

Author: mollusks from Yarblesville
18 February 2003

The directors with real master-level technique are few and far between. Great technique does not, all on its own, make a film great, but it can certainly make it watchable, and all of George Miller's movies are at least that.

The really interesting thing about Miller is that he's not a film school graduate. In fact, he's a medical doctor. What he knows about how to make movies is clearly the product of an intuitive approach, not an academic's. You can feel Miller's passion for filmmaking in pretty much every shot.

This film displays Miller's virtuosity with the camera and editing far better than any of the Mad Max films, because the setting here is "normal" and therefore less distracting. And check out the performances he gets -- not a false note in the entire piece by anybody.

Can't wait for Fury Road.

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Augusto and Michaela Odone Prove What Can Be Accomplished if You Never Give up Hope, Show Determination and Never Say "Die"!

Author: (robocoptng986127@aol.com) from U.S.A
3 December 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

[CONTAINS SPOILERS]

Our story beings in July, 1983. 5-year-old Lorenzo Odone and his parents are on vacation in Africa. Lorenzo has made friends with all members of the Comoria tribe. Among them is Omouri. When it was time for the Odones to leave, Lorenzo draws pictures of himself and his parents, Augusto and Michaela, on a kite so Omouri will never forget them.

A few months later at home in Washington D.C., an odd change occurs in Lorenzo's behavior. He begins to throw violent fits at school and at home. He also get's hurt in accidents so finally they take him to a children's hospital where Dr. Judalon runs some tests. The tests conclude that Lorenzo has ALD, or Adrenoleukodystrophy (try saying that three times fast). Adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD, is a genetic disease passed on by mother to son. It only effects males and what it does is basically destroy the child's brain, impairing body functions. It continues to eat away at the brain and destroy the myelin and the victim is dead within two years. Augusto and Michaela were terrified. And because ALD was basically a new disease and doctors don't fully understand it yet, there was no known cure. Augusto reads up on all the horrifying symptoms: seizures, blindness, deafness, stupor and death. However, several scientists were trying some experimental approaches. One of them, Professor Gus Nikolais, puts Lorenzo on a diet that would eliminate a certain kind of saturated fats that are harmful in his condition. Some scientists in Boston were trying something called Immunosuppression, which involved chemo-therapy so Lorenzo goes on that and in a matter of months, his hair has fallen out and he can barely walk or talk. Pretty soon, his condition get's even worse. He is now bed-ridden and can't even handle his own saliva. A machine has to suck it out.

The Odones soon hear from Loretta and Ellard Muscatine, the founders of an ALD Foundation so they go to a conference and meet other parents whose sons have ALD. But it turns out that the Muscatines didn't care enough about the children. Michaela, Augusto and other mothers brought good topics to their attention and they just shunned them. Augusto does more research in the fields of biochemistry, neurology and all the intriguing sciences. They try an experiment with an olive oil that lacks the kind of fats that are harmful and Lorenzo's blood fat level drops 15%, then 50% and just stays there. Augusto next wants to try an experiment with rapeseed oil. A doctor in London, Donald Suddaby, get's started on it. All the Odones can do now is prey. Omouri has come from Africa to help out.

September 1986- Dr. Suddaby has finished the serum and sends it to the Odones. They administer it to Lorenzo and in a few months, his blood sample is declared normal! Other ALD parents want this oil, but the Muscatines and Professor Nikolais seem to stand in the way of it. EPILOGUE: Augusto and Michaela are still fighting this cause and can perhaps some day cure ALD and other diseases and Lorenzo is on the long and winding road to recovery.

A pretty darn good movie! Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon and Peter Ustinov are good. Nolte and Sarandon deliver Oscar-worthy performances. The kid who plays Lorenzo was good too. I recommend this movie, although it is not a comedy. It's a powerful drama about the pains both the child and parent go through when the child has a terminal disease. But if that's your cup of tea, I recommend Lorenzo's Oil!

-

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Painful, Yet Moving True Story....

Author: Alexandra Slate (alexandraslate@hotmail.com) from Virginia, U.S.
1 November 2002

Definetly one of the most inspiring movies ever made.

As individuals, it would be quite easy to feel helpless while up against a disease such as ALD and a medical establishment that has agendas other than the life of a small child. But Augusto and Michaela Odone refused to just stand idly by and while there son's life slipped away from them. Instead, they made the unprecedented decision to learn as much as they could about their son's devastating illness and then set about to find a cure. Because of their efforts, thousands of boys will now be able to enjoy a life their child will not. Had they not been the exceptionally educated and intelligent people that they were I don't know if they would have been able to accomplish such an unbelievable feat. Who knows? What's important to remember, and what I think is the moral of the story is that great things can be accomplished when people become determined to make a difference.

Though Lorenzo regained his sight, some motor skills, and the ability to swallow, his condition hasn't improved to a large degree over the years, and will not until science is able to regenerate the myelin sheath covering his brain that was all but destroyed by the ALD. At the end of the movie, Augusto was involved with a group of scientists who were about to begin trials that would put the myelin back into some puppies who were born with this defect. I, along with others pray for those suffering from this disorder, as well as for people with other diseases such as Multiple Schlerosis that this therapy could help, that they will be successful.

Sadly, Michaela passed away not too long ago. Being from Virginia the Odone's are considered heros in this state, so her death made the papers here. I cried when I thought of how difficult it must have been for her to have to leave the child she'd spent so many years giving hours upon hours of endless care and attention. I'm sure it never crossed her mind that he would outlive her.

If you've never seen this movie, be sure not to miss it. It's a stellar 10!! But be sure to bring a whole box of tissues, you're going to need it!

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Don't Miss it!

Author: Emerenciano from Campina Grande, Brazil
3 November 2002

No doubt Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon are two great actors who have been part of wonderful movies. In "Lorenzo's Oil" they're even better than usual. The story is about a boy who has a rare disease that kills him little by little. His parents, played by Nolte and Sarandon, make their best to help the boy. Great direction by George Miller.

My Rate 8/10

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