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White Oleander (2002)

PG-13 | | Drama | 11 October 2002 (USA)
A teenager journeys through a series of foster homes after her mother goes to prison for committing a crime of passion.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Miss Martinez
...
Paramedic
...
Girl in Fight
Darlene Bohorquez ...
Prisoner
Solomon Burke Jr. ...
Guard
Scott Allan Campbell ...
Bill Greenway
...
Teacher
...
Marlena
...
Barry Kolker
...
Davey Thomas
...
...
Vernon Haas ...
Guard
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:

$5,607,480 (USA) (13 October 2002)

Gross:

$16,346,122 (USA) (8 December 2002)
 »

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

Many people in the film industry felt sure that Michelle Pfeiffer would receive an Oscar nomination for her turn as the murderous mother, but the film'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. 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

Carolee: Don't look at me like that. You're no different than I am... you just don't know it yet.
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Connections

Referenced in Game k n b?: Episode dated 29 November 2006 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Plank Of Fire
Written by Dimitri Coats
Performed by Burning Brides
Courtesy of File 13 Records
By Arrangement with Crusty Old Timer, L.L.C.
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User Reviews

 
Pfabulous Pfeiffer
14 October 2002 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Based on the terrific novel of the same name, director Peter Kosminsky's film version of "White Oleander" is quite powerful, yet at times, hollow and choppy. Due to the intricate details of the book, this is somewhat expected, however, as filmgoers, we do not get the full impact of the three years in Astrid's life. Stunning performances by Michelle Pfeiffer and Alison Lohman give the film its power. Their scenes together are as painful for us as for them. Pfeiffer, the most beautiful convict one will ever encounter, shoots a couple of "evil eyes" that are pure genius. She is truly a cobra - don't get too close. I really think Alison Lohman's performance is one of the best I have seen in a while. Touching, heart-breaking, independent, distant and loving, she longs for someone to trust. When she does find her soul mate, she fights the urge, assuming they will somehow disappoint each other. The movie is told through the episodes of each of her foster homes and her struggles to make them work. Robin Wright ("The Princess Bride") plays a sexy, desparate born-again Christian, who mistrusts Astrid, but needs the state funds. Rene Zellweger is fantastic as the broken, no self esteem, wanna-be actress who is desperate for companionship and finds it in Astrid. This is another of Astrids heartbreaking relationships and nearly turns her against the world. Patrick Fugit ("Almost Famous") offers a nice turn as the one who provides the out for Astrid. Subtlety abounds in his performance. Don't miss Billy Connally as the recepient of the flower in the title. Keep an eye out for future films with Alison Lohman - she shows much of the fine acting abilities of Jena Malone. These two should be fun to watch for years.


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