Jolene (2008)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Author E.L. Doctorow's acclaimed short story Jolene: A Life gets the big screen treatment in Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont's director Dan Ireland's independent drama about life on the road. Jolene (Jessica Chastain) is a red-haired wanderer who isn't content to call one place home for any expended stretch of time. Setting off to explore the outside world at age fifteen, the free-spirited teen embarks on a decade-long cross-country of adventure which finds her crossing the paths of everyone from … More

Rating: R (for strong sexual content, nudity, language, some violence and drug use)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Dennis Yares
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 26, 2011
E1 Entertainment - Official Site


as Uncle Phil

as Brad Benton

as Marin Lerger

as Sal Fontaine

as Coco Lerger

as MIckey

as Aunt Kay
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Critic Reviews for Jolene

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (10)

More epic than it needs to be and less profound than it should be, "Jolene" remains a watchable excursion into human frailty and foibles.

November 4, 2010
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Chastain proves near-heroic embodying Jolene's innate strength and incremental wisdom. Yet she also makes us understand how the heroine's wobbly resistance to manipulative characters is overwhelmed time and again.

Full Review… | November 4, 2010
Seattle Times
Top Critic

So bad it's almost (but not quite) good, Dan Ireland's Jolene is an unusually elaborate and excruciatingly long vanity production...

Full Review… | October 29, 2010
New York Post
Top Critic

Ms. Chastain digs deep. Surrendering to her character's smoky voice-over and disastrous judgment, the actress finds pockets of soul in a role that's part Jessica Rabbit, part Marilyn Monroe.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

The movie has been through as many hurdles getting here as dear, sweet Jolene, but sometimes the most engaging movies are the ones worth waiting for.

Full Review… | October 27, 2010
New York Observer
Top Critic

One minute a guy's making Jolene patently false promises, the next she's getting sodomized on her wedding night.

Full Review… | October 27, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Jolene


A mercurial sexpot travels the country making bad decisions with the wrong men and occasionally ruining someone else's life for little discernible reason.
Jolene's voice over, which is the epitome of lazy storytelling, paints herself as a victim throughout the film's contrived events, but I found little pitiable about Jolene despite the almost charming naivete with which Jessica Chastain plays the part. In the end, I wonder what the point of Jolene's story is. Is the message about male cruelty or the ruining of an innocent? It's hard to make this case, especially after Jolene's lesbian jaunt.
Overall, I found myself confused about why I should care about this character or what the filmmakers wanted to say about her.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Decent movie. A very sad journey for a young girl to have to take. Definitely not a heartwarmer...

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


A bad situation only gets worse and eventually I ran out of interest i this one dimensional character.

Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

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