White Oleander details
|Starring:||Michelle Pfeiffer, Billy Connolly, Renee Zellweger, Alison Lohman, Robin Wright Penn|
|Run time:||1 hour 45 minutes|
|Rental release:||20 Feb 2004|
Most helpful review
Late blooming filmBy Nigel Burris from Basildon, Essex , 20 Mar 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]White Oleander is a clunky title for a fairly smooth ride of a film, one which takes the viewer on a journey through the teenage years of Astrid, as she copes with her mother's incarceration for murder, a variety of foster homes and care centres, and finding herself in amongst all the chaos of other people's lives.
This is a surprisingly light movie given its somewhat serious themes and framework. Murder, suicide, abandonment, mental abuse - all are handled in such a way as to never fully engage the viewer's sympathy for Astrid and what she has to go through. The film needs to be a bit more gritty.
That said, there are lots of things to enjoy here, not least the performances. Alison Lohman as Astrid is amazing (she's even better in Matchstick Men), and holds her own in scenes with the likes of Robin Wright Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer in particular, is incredibly effective as Astrid's domineering mother. Even the smaller roles are well cast, and Peter Kosminsky's direction is admirable. The script is a little cliched in places, and a couple of scenes don't ring true, but only a couple.
If anything, White Oleander is a woman's movie told from the point of view of a child as she grows up. It has the requisite number of setbacks, and set-to's, and unfolds at a steady, methodical pace which helps the material enormously. The measured editing style also helps add nuance to things. If it doesn't succeed entirely, it is because the material, when all's said and done, requires more depth of feeling than it has been given. Still worth watching, though, so give it a try.
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white oleanderBy Carol from Norwich , 30 Jan 2006I chose this film because Billy Connolly was starring in it. Very little was seen of him which is a shame as he is normally excellent in films. I found the story quite interesting but did not enjoy the way in which it was told. I have not read the book it came from but it seemed that they missed out a lot of detail essential to the story line so I found it rather disappointing
An honest attempt to portray what love meansBy woodstocks from East Yorkshire , 27 Jan 2006This film explores a complex relationship between a mother who commits murder and her relationship with her daughter. The story is believable and the director Peter Kosminsky deserves credit.
Alison Lohman who plays the daughter is excellent and she is well supported by Michelle Pfeiffer as her mother.
BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!By Lorna from N.I , 20 Jan 2006omg ray is hot!! i luv this film! it's really moving & alison lohman is a really good actress!! y has she nt been in any other films! she should hav got an oscar 4 this!! rent it it won't disappoint u!!
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Best movie in a whileBy a customer from Cardiff, Wales , 14 Jan 2006The only thing wrong with this movie is that all the women seem to be blonde and it does get a little depressing but the best drama I have seen in ages...
why billy connolly?By a customer from Canterbury, England , 17 Dec 2005good acting from the female leads but why did they have to employ billy connolly? not exactly a speaking part....overall a very average film.