White Oleander
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The Oprah Book Club best-seller by Janet Fitch makes it to the big screen in this adaptation from British director Peter Kosminsky. White Oleander recounts the traumatic adolescence of Astrid Magnusson (Alison Lohman), who finds herself an orphan after her short-fused, enigmatic artist mother Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) is carted off to prison on murder charges. Astrid first finds herself in the care of Starr (Robin Wright Penn), a garish, born-again mother of two with a gruff but sensitive boyfriend (Cole Hauser). From there, she's shunted back to a state-run facility, where she tangles… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A smart, compelling drama."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"A movie that wafts in and out of clarity like a wavering transmission."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"Upsetting and dark, for older than PG-13."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"Lohman appears in nearly every scene and gives an assured, sympathetic performance as Astrid."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"Almost turns human misfortune into a costume parade."
‑ Shannon J. Harvey, Sunday Times (Australia)
"The film is worth seeing for its honest heart and for the magnificent acting."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Much of the pleasure to be had in White Oleander is in watching its female stars revel in their screen time."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"A truly involving, well-written and entertaining film supported by excellent performances..."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"The daughter's story is often haunting, but Peter Kosminsky's film . . . comes unglued because the mother is the stock psychotic villainess of countless Hollywood films."
‑ Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"Like the titular flower of its title, "White Oleander", will sting your senses and turn you cerulean with feeling as its Petals of gorgeousness, and stems of the finest celluloid work its way into your system."
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"Though it flirts with bathos and pathos and the further Oprahfication of the world as we know it, it still cuts all the way down to broken bone."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"What should have been a guaranteed weepie is never truly moving."
‑ Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle
"Distinguishing it from Oxygen channel territory is its surprisingly hard edge."
‑ Michael Dequina, TheMovieReport.com
"An emotionally powerful story with some electrifying performances."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Although its plot suffers from some plausibility issues, it shows that Kosminsky's style is certainly evolving into something worth attention."
‑ John R. McEwen, Film Quips Online
More reviews for White Oleander on Rotten Tomatoes

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