There isn’t a whole lot I can say about White Oleander. I think that it upheld the spirit of the book very well. One of the DVD featurettes indicated that the author was involved in the production of the movie, so that would probably explain that. Michelle Pfeiffer, Renee Zellweger, Robin Wright Penn, and Svetlana Efremova were great as Astrid’s “mother” figures, and Alison Lohman did a stunning job portraying Astrid through her journey to free herself from her mother’s pull and discover who she is. She manages to convey a huge range of emotions and span years of Astrid’s childhood.
It’s a fairly depressing book and the movie is no different, but it ends on a note of hope. If you like that kind of thing, be sure to pick this movie up.