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Jolene (2008)

 -  Drama  -  13 June 2008 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,407 users   Metascore: 31/100
Reviews: 24 user | 15 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

A teenage orphan spends ten years traveling cross-country experiencing life, love and heartbreak. Based on E.L. Doctorow's story, "Jolene: A Life."

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Cindy
...
Coco Leger
...
Uncle Phil
Zeb Newman ...
Mickey
...
Sal Fontaine
...
Marin
...
Aunt Kay
...
Brad
...
Teacher
Drea Pruseau ...
Nurse
Mickey Cottrell ...
Dr. Bloomberg
Mary Jane Johnson ...
Mrs. Ames
Bri Acsani ...
Suicide Girl
Julie Sledge ...
Girl in Hospital
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Storyline

A teenage orphan spends ten years traveling cross-country experiencing life, love and heartbreak. Based on E.L. Doctorow's story, "Jolene: A Life."

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A life between the exit signs

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language, some violence and drug use

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

13 June 2008 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Jolene is working as a server at the outdoor banquet, she carries a tray with two Champagne glasses. One glass is full and one empty. The very next cut, she places the tray on a table, and both glasses are empty. See more »

Crazy Credits

In on-screen credits, Don Mosley is listed twice as Chief Lighting Technician. See more »

Soundtracks

Stud
Written by Martin Buchanan and Carey Moore
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User Reviews

 
Can this really be from EL Doctorow??????
9 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

JOLENE is an adaptation of one of EL Doctorow's short stories from his collection 'Sweet Land Stories'. That story was one of the few forgettable ones in that collection and makes one wonder why it was singled out for a screenplay by Dennis Yares. Doctorow is one of America's most important writers (Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Billy Bathgate, Loon Lake, The Water Works, The March, City of God, etc) and this is surely not one of his finest moments. Made in 2008, it did give Jessica Chastain an opportunity for exposure (as in "total'!) so perhaps that is why it is making the rounds again - before Oscars....

Jolene is a 15 year old girl, at story's beginning, who knows nothing about her parents and who marries a geek boy (Zeb Newman) whose own parents are mysteriously dead and lives with relatives who are odd - the aunt (Theresa Russell) is angry with the world and uncle (Dermot Mulroney) is a pedophile: Jolene ruins her first relationship by having an affair at age 16 with the uncle , her 'husband' commits suicide, and she ends up a juvenile delinquent in a 'home' for wayward girls. There she is courted by staff member Cindy (Frances Farmer) who helps her new young lover escape. Jolene runs away to hit the road hitchhiking (selling favors along the way), and ends up in a desert drive-in where she meets and marries a tattoo artists Coco (Rupert Friend) who is a drug dealer on the side and Jolene steps out of another bad relationship. Making her way across the country she stops in to work as a stripper and is noticed by a rich man (Chaz Palminteri) from Las Vegas who shows Jolene wealth and love but is murdered by a rival gang from New York. Once again she hits the road to end up in Tulsa, OK where she is courted by a sicko right wing evangelistic wealthy boy (Michael Vartan) who marries her despite his wealthy parents concerns, gets her pregnant, then throws Jolene's past in her face, claiming their newborn child as his own - Jolene being a used and unfit mother. In desperation Jolene moves to Hollywood where she follows her one talent - art - and dreams of becoming a movie star.

Dan Ireland directs this bit of treacle and an outstanding cast makes the best of the script they're given. Chastain shows evidence of the superb acting skills that now yearly are becoming more apparent. But as a movie, JOLENE Is a contrived little mess - and it makes us wonder how the powerful EL Doctorow could be so diluted.

Grady Harp


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