7.2/10
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White Oleander (2002)

PG-13 | | Drama | 11 October 2002 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Peter Kosminsky

Writers:

Janet Fitch (novel), Mary Agnes Donoghue (screenplay)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Aquino ... Miss Martinez
John Billingsley ... Paramedic
Elisa Bocanegra ... Girl in Fight
Darlene Bohorquez Darlene Bohorquez ... Prisoner
Solomon Burke Jr. Solomon Burke Jr. ... Guard
Scott Allan Campbell Scott Allan Campbell ... Bill Greenway
Sam Catlin ... Teacher
Debra Christofferson ... Marlena
Billy Connolly ... Barry Kolker
Marc Donato ... Davey Thomas
Svetlana Efremova ... Rena Gruschenka
Patrick Fugit ... Paul Trout
Vernon Haas Vernon Haas ... Guard
Sean Happy Sean Happy ... Dirt Bike Boyfriend
Cole Hauser ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Laurier blanc See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,607,480, 13 October 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$16,346,122, 8 December 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,229,200, 31 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film, Ingrid is an artist, while in the book she is a writer - showing an artist working was deemed more watchable than showing a writer writing. See more »

Goofs

Astrid says her father left when she was two years old when she talks with Ray, but toward the end of the movie, Ingrid tells Astrid her father left when she was six months old. See more »

Quotes

Astrid: My mother was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was also the most dangerous.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Additional scenes featured on the DVD release that is not from the final print:
  • A scene where Astrid defends her brother (in the first foster home) after Starr beats him up.
  • A scene immediately after featuring Astrid and her brother (still in the first foster home) lying to the parademic asking how he broke his arm.
  • A scene where Claire can't decide which cereal they want to eat for breakfast and makes Astrid choose one.
  • A scene featuring Claire and Astrid riding home in the car after visiting Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer). Claire tells Astrid what Ingrid told her.
  • A scene where Astrid is drawing Claire's picture and Mark asking Astrid if she took his pen.
  • A scene where Astrid leaves to go back to Mac. Mark asks Astrid if she wants to go to Claire's funeral in which she declines to. He then gives her a lot of money before getting to the van.
See more »

Connections

References The Brady Bunch (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Hour
Written by Davey von Bohlen, Jason Gnewikow, Dan Didier and Scott Schoenbeck
Performed by The Promise Ring
Courtesy of Jade Tree
By Arrangement with Crusty Old Timer, L.L.C.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pfabulous Pfeiffer
14 October 2002 | by ferguson-6See 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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