Anna Rydell returns home to her sister (and best friend) Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother, aloof father, and the presence of a ghost in their home.
Kate and John Coleman are rebuilding their troubled marriage. Kate had a drinking problem, but is in therapy and is doing well. She has been sober for one year. The couple decide to adopt a child. When they meet the nine-year-old Russian girl, Esther, at the St. Marina Orphanage, they immediately fall in love with the well-educated orphan. Their young son, Daniel, is hostile to his new sister; but their deaf daughter, little Max, is enchanted with her - at first. Eventually, Kate begins to feel that Esther is manipulative and possibly even psychologically disturbed. John refuses to listen to his wife's misgivings, and the wounds in their marriage reopen. Kate calls Sister Abigail at the orphanage, and the nun informs her that Esther has a troubled and mysterious history. Kate delves further into Esther's past and discovers she is not all she pretends to be. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
According to the original script, it was strongly implied that Esther enjoyed harming and torturing animals. A minor subplot with Esther killing and dismembering the Coleman family's pet hamster was written, but never filmed. See more »
When Esther is introduced to her new class, she is holding a Nelson Spelling book. These books are not used in the United States, where the film is set; they are, however, used in Canada, where filming took place. See more »
Anyone expecting a horror film will most likely give this a 5 star rating or below. All others will be thoroughly entertained. Orphan is an INTENSE drama... full of surprises and a bit of suspense.. would have been more suspenseful for me if I had not gathered story details beforehand. Even knowing the score, I give it high marks as its execution is brilliant. The acting is flawless on all parts and I would not at all be surprised if this one picked up an award or three. Finally! Some character development! Finally! A story! Even with the darker bits of the script omitted from the film, this was a good thrill-ride. Think DRAMA and you will be pleased. There's something wrong with Esther... Haha, an understatement to say the least. Great tagline!
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