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61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on the acclaimed best-selling novel by Janet Fitch, White Oleander follows a young woman's journey through hardship and loss to maturity, joy and true independence. (Warner Bros.)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 90
    With its open, spontaneous elasticity, White Oleander is that rare Hollywood film -- an attempt to understand, without judgment, a world on its own terms.
  2. The accumulation of sharp candid flashes adds up to a disturbing vision of Los Angeles as a teeming jungle of dysfunction.
  3. 75
    Overall, you're left wondering why every big novel needs to be a movie. White Oleander would work better as a four-part miniseries -- or at least as a less conventional screenplay.
  4. 63
    The story is determined to be colorful and melodramatic, like a soap opera where the characters suffer in ways that look intriguing.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Miller
    60
    Ultimately sacrifices nuance to tidy epiphanies about personal growth.
  6. 60
    Maybe it's only half of what it could be, but at least it's a healthy half. And in this era of mainstream cookie-cutter moviemaking, that's a feat in itself.
  7. The worst mistake is the screenplay, which not only cuts everything into superficial pieces but fails to make authentic moments of anything. In the end, White Oleander isn't an adaptation of a novel. It's a flashy, star-splashed reduction.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. NicoleM.
    Sep 21, 2007
    10
    I thought the book and movie was the best that I have ever seen in a long time.
  2. Sep 6, 2011
    9
    White Oleander is an emotional-heartwreck coming of age story written by Janet Fitch and published in May of 1999. This fictional novel tellsWhite Oleander is an emotional-heartwreck coming of age story written by Janet Fitch and published in May of 1999. This fictional novel tells of Astrid Magnussen, beginning in early childhood. Astrid is living with her feminist, poet of a mother in Southern California--prey to the blistery, dry-warm wind of the Santa Anas. â Expand

See all 12 User Reviews

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