White Oleander Reviews
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.
Nice, off-beat, coming-of-age drama that's reinforced with outstanding performances from Alison Lohman and Patrick Fugit. An intriguing mix of lite dysfunctionality and very sinister behavior.
theoretically speaking, the young woman who makes such eccentric request doesn't want the actuality of her mother but a steady symbol which represents MOM. (which is just a signifier) because she's much better-off when her mom isn't around her. she doesn't want her mom as a real person with faults; she wants her mother to simply be a symbol of mom to grant her a false illusion of functionality. her mom's being in jail also enforces another illusion that all the chaotic events didn't happen since mom was sent to jail where she belongs. in a brief, it's a sick vindictive pretension to punish your mom in the glorified name of love.
"Astrid, who once idealized her mother, now blames her for the loss of happiness with Claire. But even the movie's big emotional payoff at the end loses something because, after all, Ingrid did murder Barry, and so what is presented as a sacrifice on behalf of her daughter could also be described as simply doing the right thing."
isn't your life your own affair? wouldn't it be a bit infantile to trade your mom's illicit freedom for your reformed wholesome self as if your life is not your own but property of her doings? perhaps, the movie is special case since its characters are all abnormal and dysfuntional people (or women) who refuse to participate in any constitutionalized social norm.
(ps) why dressing like a death-metal punk girl symbolizes degredation and pfeiffer's mom has to reverse IT? why dyeing your hair back to blonde is a positive sign? that confuses me. consider it coming from a deranged murderess who kills her beau just because he makes love to her and then says her has to leave because he has a date
"Its only influence on Astrid is to change her wardrobe and hair color, in what feels more like a stunt than a character development."(ebert)
conclusion: white oleander is just a bunch of childish sentiments falsely capsulated with beguiling complexities as if they were sophisticated emotions.
The film is centered around Alison Lohman's character named Astrid, a mesmerizingly ethereal beauty whose life is thrown into tragedy by her mother Ingrid (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) , an austere and arrestingly beautiful artist who murders her boyfriend after he unceremoniously breaks up with her. Ingrid achieves this by poisoning him with milk laced with White Oleander poison.
Once Ingrid gets hauled off to prison, Astrid is taken into custody by the authorities and is placed for adoption while her mother serves her term.
In the film, Astrid gets sent to live with three families: an unwed couple with kids (played by Taryn Manning and Robin Wright Penn) who epitomize American "white trash" stereotypes, a lonely actress (played by Renee Zellweger) way past her prime and a foster home who adopts young women to employ them as laborers in a flee market.
While she lived in these foster homes, Astrid is thrown, head first, into the stark realities of life; experiencing both illicit and true love, violence, tragedy, death, loss, suffering, loneliness, abandonment, despair and, ultimately, redemption.
To be clear, I know that this film was an adaptation of Janet Finch's classic novel of the same name. I actually own a copy. But, being that I haven't gotten the chance to actually read it despite it being in my shelves for quite sometime, I won't pretend that I know how exacting this film was in translating to the big screen Ms. Finch's book.
Despite this, I still think that the adaptation was moving and beautiful. Told from Astrid's point of view, the film recounts, in gripping detail, her immensely colorful life and, in doing so, creates a panoramic view into the human psyche; showing just how fragile love is and how it can be so easily warped by man's faliability.
From a technical perspective, there isn't much to say about this film's cinematography and soundtrack other than it suited it well. Obviously, this film was all about the storyline. The only thing I can give merit to this film for technically is how well it progressed, developing in a smooth and comprehensive manner along with Astrid's growth.
Yet, even with how good this adaptation was, this film, at best, can only achieve cult classic status. With a multifaceted and admittedly sentimental storyline which spanned two hours, other critics may dismiss this as a pretentious and overly sappy tale.
Regardless, it still didn't stop me from seeing it again and again. I just hope this film gets to touch you emotionally as deeply as it did me.