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USA 1992
Directed by
George Miller
129 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Lorenzo's Oil

This film brought to the attention of the world a rare disorder called adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), an inherited degenerative disorder linked to the X (male) chromosome in telling the remarkable real life story of Lorenzo Odone, a 6 year old boy who contracted the disease and his battler parents who fought tenaciously to save his life (he turned 25 in 2003, although his mother died of cancer in 2000).

Co-written by Miller, who qualified as a medical doctor, and fellow Australian, Nick Enright, it tackles a difficult cinematic subject intelligently, explaining the scientific aspects of the disease, opening up the ethical issues involved with severe disability sufferers, and effectively dramates the Odones' story without having recourse to sentimentality, although Miller tends to lay it on too thick in the latter stages by throwing Elgar and Mahler into an already over-loaded mix. An oddly-cast, but effective, Nick Nolte as the father has to perform with a heavy Italian accent whilst Susan Sarandon is sterling as Lorenzo's indefatigable mother.




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