||This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2012)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||George Miller|
|Produced by||Doug Mitchell
|Written by||George Miller
|Editing by||Richard Francis-Bruce
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||129 minutes|
|Budget||$30 million (estimated)+ $90,000 from NBC|
Lorenzo's Oil is a 1992 American drama film directed by George Miller. It is based on the true story of Augusto and Michaela Odone, two parents in a relentless search for a cure for their son Lorenzo's adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). The film was nominated for two Academy Awards. It was filmed primarily from September 1991 to February 1992 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The film had a limited release in North America on December 30, 1992, with a nationwide release two weeks later on January 15, 1993.
At the beginning of the film, Lorenzo (played by Noah Banks and also Zack O'Malley Greenburg) is portrayed as a bright and vibrant young boy living in the Comoros Islands, as his father works for the World Bank and is stationed there. When his parents relocate to the United States he begins to show neurological problems, loss of hearing, tantrums, etc. The boy is diagnosed as having ALD which is fatal within two years. Failing to find a doctor capable of treating their son's rare disease, Augusto and Michaela Odone (played by Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon) set out on a mission to find a treatment to save their child. In their quest, the Odones clashed with doctors, scientists, and support groups, who were skeptical that anything could be done about Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), much less by laypeople. But they persisted, setting up camp in medical libraries, reviewing animal experiments, enlisting the aid of Professor Gus Nikolais (played by Peter Ustinov), badgering researchers, questioning top doctors all over the world, and even organizing an international symposium about the disease.
Despite research dead ends, the horror of watching their son's health decline, and being surrounded by skeptics (including the coordinators of the support group they attended), they persisted until they finally hit upon a therapy involving adding a certain kind of oil (actually containing two specific long chain fatty acids, isolated from rapeseed [canola] oil and olive oil) to their son's diet. They contacted over 100 firms around the world until they found an elderly British chemist (Don Suddaby, who played himself in a cameo role) working for Croda International who was willing to take on the challenge of distilling the proper formula. The oil, erucic acid, proved successful in normalizing the accumulation of the very long chain fatty acids in the brain that had been causing their son's steady decline, thereby halting the progression of the disease. There was still a great deal of neurological damage remaining which could not be reversed unless new treatments could be found to regenerate the myelin sheath (a lipid insulator) around the nerves. The father is seen taking on the new challenge of organizing biomedical efforts to heal myelin damage in patients (see The Myelin Project).
The film ends with Lorenzo at the age of 14 showing definite improvement (he could swallow for himself and answer yes or no questions by blinking) but indicating more medical research is still needed. The end credits of the film note that Lorenzo also regained his sight and was learning to use a computer.
- Nick Nolte as Augusto Odone
- Susan Sarandon as Michaela Odone
- Peter Ustinov as Professor Nikolais
- Kathleen Wilhoite as Deirdre Murphy
- Gerry Bamman as Doctor Judalon
- Margo Martindale as Wendy Gimble
- James Rebhorn as Ellard Muscatine
- Ann Hearn as Loretta Muscatine
- Maduka Steady as Omouri
- Mary Wakio as the Comorian Teacher
- Don Suddaby as himself
- Colin Ward as Jake Gimble
- La Tanya Richardson as Nurse Ruth
- Jennifer Dundas as Nurse Nancy Jo
- William Cameron as Pellerman
- Becky Ann Baker as Pellerman's Secretary
- Mary Pat Gleason as The Librarian
- David Shiner as the Clown
- Ann Dowd as the Pediatrician
- Peter Mackenzie as the Immunosuppression Doctor
- Paul Lazar as Professer Duncan
- Laura Linney as a Young Teacher
- Helena Ruoti as Judalon's Nurse
- Luis Ruiz as Judalon's Resident
- Joyce Reehling as a Columnist
- Barbara Poitier as Nikolais' Secretary
- Mary Schmidt Campbell as the Principal
- Michael O'Neill as the School Psychologist
- William Thunhurst Jr. as an Ear Specialist
- Ann McDonough as a Dietician
- Lianne Kressin as a Smiling Nurse
- Nicolas Petrov as the World Bank Executive
- Richard Cordery as Suddaby's Senior Manager
- Angus Barnett as Suddaby's Junior Manager
- Keiko McDonald as a Japanese Translator
- Vladimir Padunov as a Russian Translator
- David McFadden as Father Killian
- Carmen Piccini as Cristina Odone
- Aaron Jackson as Francesco Odone
- Neri Kyle Tannenbaum as the Female Lab Voice
- Brad Einhorn as the Male Lab Voice
Lorenzo Played by 
Murphy Family Played by 
Symposium Doctors 
- Eliot Brinton
- James Merrill
- Ayub Ommaya
- Marie Nugent-Head
- Ryonosuke Shiono
- Zahra Ilkanipour
- Kiran Rao (uncredited)
Conference Parents 
- Nancy Chesney
- Nora Gerard
- John Mowod
- David Doepken
- Susan Chapek
- Kathryn Aronson
- Shirley Tannenbaum
- Lamont Arnold
- Charles R. Altman
- Julie Marie Remele
- Anthony Dileo Jr.
- Annie Loeffler
- Berta Van Zuiden
- Lisa Montgomery
Special Children 
- Raina Clifford
- Nicholas Wiese
- Todd Bella
- Tia Delaney
- Rachel Jones
- Lamar Olivis
- Matthew Pyeritz
- Ryan Thomas
- Daniel W. D'Arcy
- Connie Cranden
- Justin Isfeld
- C. Alex Roberts
- Jeremy Beyer
- Mack Hegyes
- Christine Merriman
- Eric Kunkle
The opening song is "Kijana Mwana Mwali" ("About A Young Lady"), sung by the Gonda Traditional Entertainers.
The music for the Easter Midnight Mass scene is a Russian Orthodox Church hymn, "Bogoroditse Devo" (Rejoice, O Virgin) from "Three Choruses from 'Tsar Feodor Ioannovich'", taken from the album Sacred Songs of Russia by Gloriae Dei Cantores.
Lorenzo's Oil was nominated twice at the 65th Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Susan Sarandon) and Best Original Screenplay (George Miller & Nick Enright).
Susan Sarandon was nominated for Best Actress at the 50th Golden Globe Awards.
The film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen at the WGA Awards.
Critical response 
Lorenzo's Oil was acclaimed by critics, and held a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times gave it four out of four stars and called it an "immensely moving and challenging movie". He added, "it was impossible not to get swept up in it" and James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave it three out of four stars and claimed, "it was about the war for knowledge and the victory of hope through perseverance."
Medical response 
The film received mixed responses from the medical community. While it seemed to accurately portray the events related to the boy's condition and his parents' efforts during the time period covered by the film, it was criticized for painting a picture of a miracle cure. Subsequent research with Lorenzo's oil has not clearly proven its effectiveness in treating ALD. The actual subject of the film, Lorenzo Odone, died in May 2008 at the age of 30, having lived two decades longer than originally predicted by doctors. 
Box Office 
- "Pittsburgh - City lands good share of movies". The Vindicator. 10 December 1995.
- "Lorenzo's Oil". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Lorenzo's Oil: The full story". BBC News (BBC News). 21 July 2004. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
- Moser, H. W.; Moser, A. B.; Hollandsworth, K.; Brereton, N. H.; Raymond, G. V. (2007). ""Lorenzo's oil" therapy for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy: Rationale and current assessment of efficacy". Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN 33 (1): 105–113. doi:10.1007/s12031-007-0041-4. PMID 17901554.
- "Lorenzo loses battle for life but legacy of hope lives on". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media Ltd). 31 May 2008. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
- "Lorenzo's Oil (1992)". IMDB. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "Lorenzo's Oil". BoxOfficeMojo. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- Lorenzo's Oil at the Internet Movie Database
- Lorenzo's Oil at AllRovi
- Lorenzo's Oil at Rotten Tomatoes
- Lorenzo's Oil at Box Office Mojo