White Oleander (2002)



Critic Consensus: Strong performances by the lead actresses make White Oleander a compelling female melodrama.

Movie Info

A drama which chronicles the life of Astrid, a young teenager who journeys through a series of foster homes after her mother goes to prison for committing a crime of passion. Set adrift in the world, Astrid struggles to become her own person while coming to terms with the challenges of living life on her own.

Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements, drug content, language, sexuality and violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Mary Agnes Donoghue
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 11, 2003
Box Office: $16.3M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


as Astrid Magnussen

as Ingrid Magnussen

as Starr Thomas

as Claire Richards

as Paul Trout

as Mark Richards

as Michael

as Bill Greenway

as Miss Martinez

as Davey Thomas

as Ann Greenway

as Reverend Daniels

as Hannah

as Susan Valeris

as Patrick

as Carolee

as Girl in Fight

as Teacher

as Dirt Bike Boyfriend

as Detective

as Prison Visitor

as Dad at Auction Area

as Guard at X-ray Machi...

as Police Officer

as Swap Meet Mother

as Swap Meet Daughter

as Police Officer

as Comic Book Store Cle...

as Judge
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for White Oleander

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Critic Reviews for White Oleander

All Critics (146) | Top Critics (36)

A smart, compelling drama.

Full Review… | October 19, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Upsetting and dark, for older than PG-13.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010
Common Sense Media

A truly involving, well-written and entertaining film supported by excellent performances...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Distinguishing it from Oxygen channel territory is its surprisingly hard edge.

Full Review… | December 30, 2008

Lohman appears in nearly every scene and gives an assured, sympathetic performance as Astrid.

Full Review… | June 25, 2004

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.

December 1, 2003
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Audience Reviews for White Oleander

On a rewatch, not quite as good as I remembered, but still liked it.
Interesting story about a poisonous mother and the harm caused to her teenage daughter, even while she's in prison after murdering an ex boyfriend for rejecting her.
The movie follows Astrid as she is shunted from foster home to foster home, yet still unable to break away totally from her mother who "would rather see her in the worst type of foster hell" than living with a decent foster mother.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Really good and interesting story with brilliant performances.

Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer

Alison Lohman is not, in my opinion, the best choice for a protagonist for this one, but Michelle Pfeiffer's never blinking reptile eyes are just about perfect. The story is rather lackluster, but the acting power can be quite extraordinary when handled correctly.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

White Oleander Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
– Submitted by Marian A (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Meg B (2 years ago)

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