White Oleander

Millions loved the Janet Fitch novel — an Oprah's Book Club selection in 1999 — and millions more may love the film version. For guys, this chick flick about teenage Astrid (newcomer Alison Lohman) suffering the evils of the foster-care system is heavy lifting. That said, Michelle Pfeiffer is sensational as Astrid's beautiful wicked witch of a mom, in jail for murdering her lover. And director Peter Kosminsky gets the likes of Renee Zellweger, Robin Wright Penn and Svetlana Efremova to act their hearts out in small roles. But the estrogen overload damn near did me in.

From The Archives Issue 908: October 31, 2002
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