Making the Grades
Starring Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon, Lorenzo's Oil is a movie based on the real life work and research done by Augusto and Michaela Odone, and their search for a cure for a rare disease called adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) which their son has.
Director George Miller, a doctor who financed some of his earlier films while practising medicine, brings a film to the screen that nails you to your seat and doesn't let you leave. He links the story elements together and brings your heart into the lives of this struggling family, as they desperately search everywhere for a cure for their son.
After being told by the researchers that this is very interesting, but it will take months before we know what to do, they decide to go find a cure themselves. "When you are in a strange country, you learn the language," says Nolte playing Augusto Odone. And that's just what they did. Spending days in libraries and arranging medical conferences, Odone made himself a doctor. Finally, in the humble substance of olive oil (a significant religious symbol) a cure was found, and Odone was given an honourary doctorate for his work.
This film shines for displaying just what a marriage can go through, and still survive. It has a "don't give up" attitude that the world needs to sit down and take a close look at. It doesn't blame the medical profession, it doesn't point fingers, it just shows what two parents can do out of love for their son.
With one minor obscenity in the entire film, this movie gets a rousing four A rating. Once again the MPAA rating system fails miserably by classifying this movie as PG-13. Any movie portraying drug use must fall into this classification. The drugs in this movie are derived from olive oil, and are being used to save someone's life. Don't let the PG-13 rating dissuade you. Although this film is heavy going, it is wonderful viewing material for all family members who can understand the situation.