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White Oleander (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  11 October 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 24,575 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 170 user | 103 critic | 35 from

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



(novel), (screenplay)
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3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elisa Bocanegra ...
Girl in Fight
Darlene Bohorquez ...
Solomon Burke Jr. ...
Scott Allan Campbell ...
Vernon Haas ...
Sean Happy ...
Dirt Bike Boyfriend


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where does a mother end and a daughter begin?



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:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Laurier blanc  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,607,480 (USA) (11 October 2002)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film in which Claire shows Astrid is 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning', in which Renee Zellweger actually starred in. See more »


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 »


Claire Richards: Take my advice and stay away from broken people.
See more »


References The Brady Bunch (1969) See more »


What's Inside Me
Written by Raile
Performed by Liars Inc.
Courtesy of Foodchain Records and Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Acting was amazing
26 October 2004 | by (Corvallis, OR) – See all my reviews

I have just one word: Wow.

I saw this movie not expecting much and was completely blown away. The story and especially the acting was incredible! INCREDIBLE. I am now and forever will be a devoted Alison Lohman fan. I've never seen anyone take a character and make it more real than she did with Astrid. She made me cry more than once. It is amazing to watch it all the way through and then start it over again just to reaffirm the amazing transformation the character goes through from beginning to end. She not only looks different but her mannerisms are also so innocent and naive in the beginning. It's unbelievable. I have to say I am completely angry that her acting was not mentioned in any awards, nominations, or anything by Hollywood.

All the acting was incredible. Robin Penn, Renee' Zellwegger, Michelle Pfieffer; all did outstanding! I've never hated Michelle Pfieffer before but she did an incredible job being someone you could truly be disgusted with. Also loved the job...and sorry to do this but the guy who was in Almost Famous...have no idea what his name is...did. The love story between Astrid and him is very sweet.

As I said before I was very blown away by this movie. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone and hope it gets more popular as time goes on.

62 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How old is Astrid when she has sex with Ray? duhduhfluntz
I'm sick of women and their feelings JaxSnyder
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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