6.5/10
3,164
28 user 15 critic

Jolene (2008)

R | | Drama | 13 June 2008 (USA)
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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Writers:

(screenplay), (story "Jolene: A Life") | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Cindy
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Coco Leger
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Uncle Phil
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Mickey
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Sal Fontaine
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Marin
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Aunt Kay
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Brad
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Teacher
Drea Pruseau ...
Nurse
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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)  »

Also Known As:

Джолин  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jolene the titular character is based on the short story "Jolene: A Life" by E. L. Doctorow, itself inspired by Dolly Parton's song, Jolene. See more »

Goofs

When Jolene is narrating about the trial of Uncle Phil she says that she needed to prove that she was 16 and therefore he was guilty of "statutory rape"; This part of the film takes place in South Carolina where the age of consent is 16 therefore it would not be statutory rape, he could be found guilty of adultery and that would have been grounds for divorce from his wife though. 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

 
meandering story with good performance
16 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

Orphan Jolene (Jessica Chastain) marries nerdy Mickey to get away from the foster system. They live with his Uncle Phil (Dermot Mulroney) and Aunt Kay (Theresa Russell). It's Jolene's sweet 16 and Uncle Phil takes her to bed. They have a secret affair. Kay catches them and throws her out. Mickey commits suicide and she is sent to a juvenile mental asylum. Uncle Phile is sentenced to 18 months and she catches the eye of lesbian nurse Cindy (Frances Fisher). She convinces Cindy to help her escape and then she escapes from Cindy and South Carolina forever. She continues her winding journey through the wide ranging dark side.

I can't buy Chastain as a 16 year old, let alone 15. It's a problem because her relationship with Mulroney comes off as romantic when it needs to come off as creepy. It's funny when Jolene says she acts 10 years older than her age. She's actually even older than that. The first part could be compelling but her age just gets into the way.

The story meanders with too many pit stops along the way. I almost gave it a pass thinking it's a true story but no! It's not. It just makes the meandering writing unforgivable. The movie should be split in two. The first part with a younger actress playing teen Jolene up to and including Cindy. Chastain can play the adult Jolene with Brad. That part is very compelling. Chastain shows her acting skills playing her role with abandon.


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