Kate and John Coleman are rebuilding their troubled marriage after the loss of their baby. The couple decide to adopt a child. When they meet the nine-year-old Estonian 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 mute daughter, 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. 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 what she claims to be. Written by
In the screenplay, Esther was described as having fair skin, delicate features, and platinum blonde hair. Although Isabelle Fuhrman (Esther) did not fit this description, the filmmakers were so impressed with her auditions that they cast her anyway. See more »
When Kate and John first meet Esther and speak to her while she paints lion cubs, her painting progresses a lot quicker than it should for the amount of time that passes on screen. Also in some of the close up painting shots, it's obvious from the fingernails that someone else's hand was used for those shots. See more »
After the end title sequence, the rest of the credits are, among other things, smeared and splattered with fluorescent paint, lipstick kisses, and Esther's violent artwork. A small heart is also painted next to "John" (Peter Sarsgaard) in the cast list. 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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