Oleanna (1994)



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Movie Info

This focuses upon sexual harassment in academia. John is a burned out professor with a mid-life crisis. He thinks of leaving his family and the ivory tower. He is a conceited and self-deluded man. Carol is a failing student who comes to John's office for help. John decides to take the time to really help Carol, who doesn't seem to be able to understand anything. During their sessions, he comes to trust her and vents much of his pent-up frustration with teaching and his life. Suddenly Carol files a sexual harassment complaint against him. The board readily believes her and demands John apologize or lose his job. John hastily reconsiders his values and his life, and is willing to apologize for her mis-understanding of his intentions, but he will not acknowledge any of the accusations Carol made. Why should he? He is innocent.

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Critic Reviews for Oleanna

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (2)

Overly schematic and the least effective screen adaptation of a David Mamet play.

Apr 30, 2011 | Rating: D | Full Review…

...feels like it was made in a rush, on the cheap, and to fulfill a contractual obligation.... a disappointment compared to his House of Games or Heist, which at least possessed the fall-back position of being intermittently entertaining.

Apr 5, 2006 | Full Review…

Mamet's most frustrating movie

Nov 11, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

As to be expected, the Mamet-speak is sharp, witty and masterful.

May 22, 2004 | Rating: B | Full Review…

the film tried a little too hard to make the audience squirm -- but it also forced me to think.

Sep 17, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Zeroes in on the lust for power that lies behind the confrontations waged in the name of gender, class, age, and political correctness.

Aug 23, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Oleanna

An interesting movie.

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer


A compelling, elocuent, dialogue-driven, unpretentious, well made two characters drama. Mamet's prose really works.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


A tad dry on screen. would have been interesting to see how a different director would have handled it - maybe emphasised the sensual experiences. Read the play. Good performance fom William H. Macy

Kit X
Kit X

Super Reviewer

Oleanna Quotes

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