Lorenzo's Oil
Lorenzo's Oil is a 1992 drama film directed by George Miller
George Miller (producer)
George Miller is an Australian film director, screenwriter, producer, and former medical doctor. He is most well known for his work on the Mad Max movies, but has been involved in a wide range of projects, including the Oscar-winning Happy Feet and "Babe" family films.Miller is the older brother...

. It is based on a true story of Augusto and Michaela Odone
Augusto and Michaela Odone
Augusto Daniel Odone and Michaela Teresa Murphy Odone are the parents of Lorenzo Odone , a child afflicted with the illness adrenoleukodystrophy...

, two parents in a relentless search for a cure for their son Lorenzo
Lorenzo Odone
Lorenzo Michael Murphy Odone was an American adrenoleukodystrophy patient whose parents, Augusto and Michaela Odone, sought a treatment for the disease and invented Lorenzo's oil....

's adrenoleukodystrophy
Adrenoleukodystrophy is a rare, inherited disorder that leads to progressive brain damage, failure of the adrenal glands and eventually death. ALD is a disease in a group of genetic disorders called leukodystrophies, whose chief feature is damage to myelin...

 (ALD). The film was nominated for two Academy Awards.


Failing to find a doctor capable of treating their young son Lorenzo's rare disease, Augusto and Michaela Odone
Augusto and Michaela Odone
Augusto Daniel Odone and Michaela Teresa Murphy Odone are the parents of Lorenzo Odone , a child afflicted with the illness adrenoleukodystrophy...

 sought their own cure. They 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 ALD, much less by laypeople. But they persisted, setting up camp in medical libraries, reviewing animal experiments, badgering researchers, questioning top doctors all over the world, and even organizing an international symposium about the disease. Despite dead ends of research, 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 an oil containing two specific long chain fatty acids), both isolated from rapeseed 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) working for Croda International
Croda International
Croda International plc is a chemicals company based at Snaith in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.-History:...

 who was willing to take on the challenge of distilling the proper formula. It 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 until new treatments were found to regenerate the myelin sheath (a lipid insulator) around the nerves.

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.


The film features Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

's Ave verum corpus
Ave verum corpus (Mozart)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Ave verum corpus in D major was written for Anton Stoll who was musical co-ordinator in the parish of Baden bei Wien, near Vienna. This setting of the Ave verum corpus text was composed to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and the autograph is dated 17 June 1791...

, as well as Barber
Samuel Barber
Samuel Osborne Barber II was an American composer of orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music. His Adagio for Strings is his most popular composition and widely considered a masterpiece of modern classical music...

's Adagio for Strings
Adagio for Strings
Adagio for Strings is a work by Samuel Barber, arranged for string orchestra from the second movement of his String Quartet, Op. 11. Barber finished the arrangement in 1936, the same year as he wrote the quartet...



Lorenzo's Oil was nominated twice at the 65th Academy Awards
65th Academy Awards
The 65th Academy Awards were presented March 29, 1993 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. This was the fourth consecutive show hosted by Billy Crystal.Unforgiven won four Oscars out of nine nominations including Best Picture.-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
50th Golden Globe Awards
The 50th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television for 1992, were held on Saturday January 23, 1993.-Best Actor - Drama: Al Pacino - Scent of a Woman*Tom Cruise - A Few Good Men*Robert Downey, Jr...


The film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen at the WGA Awards.


Lorenzo's Oil was acclaimed by critics, and currently holds a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

. Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 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
James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli is an American online film critic.-Personal life:Berardinelli was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and spent his early childhood in Morristown, New Jersey. At the age of nine years, he relocated to the township of Cherry Hill, New Jersey...

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."
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