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Jolene (2008)

tomatometer

56

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.

audience

43

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 2,939

My Rating

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

R,

Drama

Dennis Yares

Apr 26, 2011

E1 Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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October 29, 2010:
Critics Consensus: Guess Saw 3D's Tomatometer!
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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (10) | DVD (1)

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 IconTop 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.

November 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cruelly, the display of sorrow never takes command, with most of the film an unsatisfactory soap opera that never seizes an illuminating essence.

May 3, 2011 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

Chastain has long red hair, wide eyes, and an even wider smile. She is Jolene, of course, and she is appealing.

November 21, 2010 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

Based on an E.L. Doctorow short story, Jolene is an apt example of how stories about women who are in abusive relationships can be turned into sexual exploitation.

November 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Journal International | Comment (1)
Film Journal International

Vapid, convoluted, tedious and too episodic despite Jessica Chastain's charismatic performance as the seductive, wounded, insecure and lonely Jolene.

October 31, 2010 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Jolene's main themes, including the manipulation of youth, the fragility of love, and the suppression of individuality, try to carry the wonky dialogue into complex territory.

October 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Chastain, an incandescent redhead with a heart-shaped face and round, shining eyes, does more justice to the part than it deserves.

October 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Movieline
Movieline

Downplaying Doctorow's condescending literary and class ironies, Ireland creates something more like a queer-inflected Candide.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Press | Comment (1)
New York Press

A road movie that charts the adventures of an orphan teenager as she experiments with sexuality, marriage, and adultery.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

A picaresque tale of a young woman's sad passage through abuse marriages that retains the sardonic wit of the original story by E.L. Doctorow.

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

While its lumpy story drags long before its running time is up, the film serves as the perfect showcase for new star Jessica Chastain, a dazzling redhead whose talent and radiance keeps its many parts watchable.

January 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

[Jessica] Chastain does a great job of igniting Jolene's mix of street-wise survivalist instinct and romantic soul. Her performance anchors a film that has no solid grounding

June 16, 2008 Full Review Source: GreenCine
GreenCine

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.
September 5, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Decent movie. A very sad journey for a young girl to have to take. Definitely not a heartwarmer...
November 8, 2011
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

A bad situation only gets worse and eventually I ran out of interest i this one dimensional character.
June 28, 2011
Tomassgringo

Super Reviewer

A movie from the 2008 Seattle Film Festival List. This one is about a young girls trouble life and adventures. Starting when she first got married at 15 to her life and trek across America. With Many High's and a number of low's. Excellent story which shows just how fair and unfair life can be. Jessica Chastain was over the top in this one. 4 stars
June 17, 2011
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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