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White Oleander (2002)

 -  Drama  -  11 October 2002 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 22,457 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 168 user | 105 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

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

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Girl in Fight
Darlene Bohorquez ...
Prisoner
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Scott Allan Campbell ...
...
Teacher
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...
...
...
...
Vernon Haas ...
Sean Happy ...
Dirt Bike Boyfriend
...
Ray
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Storyline

Astrid Magnussen is a 15 year old girl, living in California. Her mother, Ingrid, is a beautiful, free-spirited poet. Their life, though unusual, is satisfying until one day, a man named Barry Kolker (that her mother refers to at first as "The goat man") comes into their lives, and Ingrid falls madly in love with him, only to have her heart broken, and her life ruined. For revenge, Ingrid murders Barry with the deadly poison of her favourite flower: The White Oleander. She is sent to prison for life, and Astrid has to go through foster home after foster home. Throughout nearly a decade she experiences forbidden love, religion, near-death experiences, drugs, starvation, and how it feels to be loved. But throughout these years, she keeps in touch with her mother via letters to prison. And while Ingrid's gift is to give Astrid the power to survive, Astrid's gift is to teach her Mother about love. Written by wyrd_sista_187 <wyrd_sista_187@yahoo.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where does a mother end and a daughter begin?

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements concerning dysfunctional relationships, drug content, language, sexuality and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Laurier blanc  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$195,219 (Australia) (13 June 2003)

Gross:

$436,812 (Australia) (20 June 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alison Lohman wore a wig/was bald throughout the whole film, because she had just previously filmed a role as a cancer patient. See more »

Goofs

When Astrid, Starr, and Carolee are driving to go get clothes, Starr refers to the reverend of their church as "Reverend Thomas." However, in every other scene before and after this, the reverend is referred to as "Reverend Daniels." Perhaps his name is Thomas Daniels. See more »

Quotes

Astrid: There's nothing wrong with being a Christian.
Ingrid: Are you out of your mind? How did this happen? I raised you, not a pack of Bible-thumping trailer trash. I raised you to think for yourself.
Astrid: No you didn't. You raised me to think like you.
See more »

Connections

Features Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

S.S.T.
Written by Thomas Barnett, Eric Kane, Garth Petrie, Matt C. Sherwood and Matt Smith
Performed by Strike Anywhere
Courtesy of Jade Tree
By Arrangement with Crusty Old Timer, L.L.C.
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User Reviews

 
Alison Lohman stands out in subtle coming-of-age drama
30 July 2006 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

Based on the same-titled novel by Janet Fitch, White Oleander tells the story of a teenage girl (Alison Lohman) struggling to survive in foster homes while her free-spirited mother (Michelle Phieffer) is in prison for having murdered her lover with the poisonous flower 'White Oleander'. It is a complex story of the relationship between a powerless girl and a loveless mother that, in spite of its cheesy sounding premise, manages to avoid all clichéd Hallmark moments and project quite a lot of heart in doing so.

White Oleander sees Alison Lohman in a superbly bruised and fragile performance as Astrid Magnussen and we follow her through her struggles, both to bond with her mother and to survive in foster cares. All developments in her life feel natural and genuine, for example seeking the affirmation of an older man (Cole Hauser) in one of her foster homes, and putting herself into a strangely Lolita-like situation -- and this part is viciously well-handled and more effective than any other teen girl/older man jail bait situation I have ever seen.

The film stars a wide variety of blondes, Michelle Phieffer, Alison Lohman, Robin Wright Penn and Renée Zellweger in different parts and they all feel appropriate. Phieiffer is proud, cold and heartless and this is juxtapositioned with Lohman's mildness and loving ways. White Oleander is a film that is indeed very sad, but does not purposely pull at the human race's collective heartstrings in every emotional scene and set-up. This way, in spite of its content, it never becomes sappy. It's not a film I would watch again however, and I would never recommend it to male viewers because it is very chick-oriented.

7/10


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
I'm sick of women and their feelings JaxSnyder
How old is Astrid when she has sex with Ray? duhduhfluntz
Astrid as a Goth... BlueEyedSuicide
Things I learned from White Oleander... bootifulsuka
for those who have read the book greenlight1784-1
I thought she killed him at HER HOUSE?? essbeep
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