Lorenzo's Oil - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lorenzo's Oil Reviews

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February 1, 2019
The best inspiring movie ever made!
½ May 17, 2018
do you want to see the boundaries of a parent's courage, faith and not giving up? Here you are!
½ February 22, 2018


[George Miller]
September 16, 2017
A film for all aspiring parents. If I have a serious disease, even fatal one when I am a child, I want parents like Augustos and Michaela Odone (acted brilliantly by Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon). When most parents would have given up if their kid was diagnosed with ALD (adrenolenkodystrophy) and not intervene as nature takes its course, the child becomes crippled, and eventually die a horrible death of drowning in their own spit and regurgitation. Not Augustos or Michaelos. Although not doctors or scientists, they recognised the terribly inapt doctors and scientists and the slow progress of finding a cure to newly discovered disease because the scientific community do not share their nascent research prematurely for egotism and prestige reasons. Rather sit and see their child suffer and degenrate, they ploughed the fields of biochemistry, physiology and medicine with the help of library, they discovered Lorenzos oil. Fruits of their tenacity, never say die attitude saved, not just their sons life but also the lives of many ALD kids. Truly magnificent parents.
January 31, 2017
I have over my years of watching fims come across some very emotional drama's spanning a wide range of subjects. Lorenzo's Oil officially ranks as one of the most emotional ones I've ever seen. I can't even imagine how much it truly hurts and how scary it is when your child is sick and getting worse by the day. George Miller's honest and raw directing of this story serves as yet another career highlight for the australian director.
Lorenzo's oil is the true story of the real life medicine of the same name and the boy Lorenzo Odone. Lorenzo a bright young kid tragically suffers ALD a disease that causes fatty acids to build up and heavily damage the nerves in the body. Lorenzo over the years gets worst and worst but it doesn't stop Lorenzo's parents Michaela and Augusto from relentlessly searching for a remedy or cure of some kind.
An incredibly emotional story. Miller show's the true horror, and despair the family felt when they found out how serious and severe this disease. At the same time he manages to show us some rays of hope. The music from score was very appropriate and helps in establishing the emotional journey this family was taken on with this entire ordeal. very interesting cinematography it brings you up close and personal with the family in this story. solid editing as well
It is a shame that in the beginning so many were quick to shoot down any kind of solution for this disease. I commend the family for taking the intiative and learning about the disease themselves so they can help bring some ideas to the table for medical professionals.
Sarandon and Nolte do this couple real justice here in their portrayals. Susan Sarandon delivers the most moving performance of her career! Sarandon portrays the constant determination Michaela had with such conviction and the love she showcased on screen was remarkable! this woman stayed strong for her boy despite his condition becoming almost fatal.
Nick nolte also gives his most moving/emotional performance of his career. The scene were he learned about all the symtoms of ALD was a true heartbreaker and he nailed it! His Italian accent was superb here as well.
Even Zack O'malley Greenberg as young as he was did an incredible job having to act out this horrific disease. It was such a haunting performance but so haunting it made you truly believe what you were seeing.
An immensely moving story that can bring you to the brink of tears. A must see picture.
½ August 30, 2016
Lorenzo's Oil is based on the true life experiences of the Odone family. This drama is well acted and put together but very sad.

Their son comes down with a rare and deadly disease that is killing him. The Odones do research to solve the mystery of how to help him, as the medical treatments available do nothing for him. They find the anwer! His fat must be modified and he cannot get any other types of fat. It's a dietary solution.

Their solution saves their son's life, but by the time they find the answer and find a compounding pharmacist willing to take on the challenge of trying to produce oil for their son with the correct chemistry, their son has already turned into a vegetable. He remains alive on the oil though, for many years. Meanwhile, many other children with the same disease have benefitted from the oil, with increased survival and improved maintenance of normal cognitive functioning.

And yet, the US FDA continues to consider this oil an "experimental treatment", so it is difficult and very expensive to get. You can't just order it as a food, because...it would compete with drugs being developed. Can't have that! Anything that could easily be produced and could just be considered a food, if it competes with potential drug profits, must be regulated into minimal use. It's really about maintaining corporate profits and keeping out freebie treatments. But really, gluten free foods help people with celiac disease and you can get them from the grocery store at relatively affordable prices, which is reasonable. But you can't get lorenzo's oil!

Somehow, it's politics, instead of real solutions, that drive a lot of United States healthcare policy.

If ground floor disease research is interesting to you, I recommend Ralph Moss's book The Cancer Industry. No one has made that into a movie yet, though.
April 20, 2016
Sad and inspiring....
April 3, 2016
George Miller crafts a powerful real life story about a boy's fatal disease and his parents' struggle to find him a proper treatment - even if it can't avoid clichés and it is not able to cause the expected tears.
August 18, 2015
While this movie has it's slow moments, Lorenzo's Oil is smart, moving, powerful and one of George Miller's overlooked films.
July 29, 2015
Lorenzo's Oil is a depressing true story about the will two parents had to keep their son alive!
July 7, 2015
A nice movie with a great performance from Susan Sarandon. I love Nick Nolte and find him extremely under appreciated but in this he seemed to be a little off balancing anger and the bilingual script. George Miller, who is more popular for doing the Mad Max movies, takes a very interesting sharp turn in his career with a calm drama with a really nice score and great supporting cast including Margo Martindale.
½ May 29, 2015
Incredible and moving story. The most incredible part it's how these two parents studied medicine by themselves and found a cure. They loved so much Lorenzo that they just couldn't give up on him. Even though in the end they admit that all their research was for other children, because Lorenzo's disease was irreversible at that point. They could just stabilise his condition.
P.S. This movie marks Laura Linney's first appearance in a film.
½ May 27, 2015
I hate this mawkish movie. Nolte is a pedestrian actor at best. I didn't care for his ridiculous "Italian" accent. Sarandon is a pill. Eating spaghetti with your fingers. Just kill me now.
April 28, 2015
LORENZO'S OIL is an interesting film for a few reasons. First, it's based on a true story and second, the director George Miller (MAD MAX) used to be a medical doctor, so this project was probably personal for him in a way that his others weren't. Before someone gets the wrong idea, I do think this is a good film. All of the performances were realistically done, the technical details are all artfully done, and the story itself is highly inspirational. That being said, the film is a bit hard to sit through since you are relentlessly bombarded with scene after scene of a child struggling for his life against a disease that (at the time) wasn't fully understood. There was also a steep learning curve when it came to all of the medical terminology that gets tossed around, although there was some attempt to explain the more fundamental concepts related to the disease at the center of the story. And what a disease! Lorenzo Odone was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a disease that affects how certain fatty acids are processed and leads to serious neurological problems. Keeping in mind that George Miller is a former doctor, the narrative unfolds and is presented in a very clinical fashion, with an acute focus on time. To its detriment, occasionally this bleeds over into the emotional impact of what is happening onscreen. While it might be hard not to be moved by much of what is shown and discussed, there was a preparedness and calculation which undermined the more emotional moments (for me, at least). And about a third of the way into the film, after seeing scene after scene of suffering and hearing several cues of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, I just became numb. All of that aside, I thought the film brought up some very important points of discussion, such as how slow the medical establishment moves and the role of compassion in medical care. There are several scenes in which parents of ALD children are pitted against the foundation and doctors simply because they feel things aren't moving fast enough. Still, as the film makes quite clear, there are proper procedures and protocols to be followed. despite the maverick efforts of the Odones to find a cure/treatment for their son's illness at all costs. Hopefully, the less scientifically inclined won't take this film as evidence that parents can just do what they want willy-nilly without regard for established science. To their credit, the Odones did their own research and worked with scientists to develop the titular oil that helped to save their boy's life. Thematically, I think the film's main message can be summed up in the opening quote which, summarized, basically says that living is struggle while the end result is up to a higher power. Maybe the film hammers this a little too hard, what with endless soundtrack cues of choral and symphonic music, but the idea that science and faith don't necessarily have to be diametrically opposed is a compelling one. There are certainly other issues/topics which are touched upon, but I feel like I've covered the most significant ones. While it isn't a perfect movie, and is shameless in its emotional manipulation, in the end it is an uplifting story that I can easily recommend. Just be aware that the journey though it isn't easy.
½ February 27, 2015
Extensively melodramatic and hopelessly overwrought with long, emotional shots. But the acting is great (even if Nick Nolte as an Italian guy is awkward) and the story is good. Very early 90's in all respects.
½ November 19, 2014
The two leads do excellent work as they portray parents who have a son with a lifelong disease. Very hard to watch at times but a very impressive film
October 26, 2014
Feels in some ways like an overly-emotional TV movie, though not a bad one...
½ August 17, 2014
It was brilliant, but didn't get my last 1/2 star because I found it hard to follow, and I was watching it as part of a Biology final so I was too busy taking notes to entirely appreciate it. Still amazing though
July 25, 2014
A harrowing and inspiring story with great performances.
May 11, 2014
A stirring and heartbreaking drama about a young boy suffering from a rare genetic disease that will eventually kill him. Desperate to save their son, his parents do anything they can to save their child. Just when their efforts seem futile, they end up inventing a treatment that will not only save his son, but provide a cure for all other future children born with the illness. Based on a true story. A powerful film about the power of human spirit.
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