Lorenzo's Oil

Synopsis: Until about the age of 7, Lorenzo Odone was a normal child. After then, strange things began to happen to him: he would have blackouts, memory lapses, and other strange mental phemonenons. He is eventually diagnosed as suffering from ALD: an extremely rare incurable degenerative brain disorder. Frustrated at the failings of doctors and medicine in this area, the Odones begin to educate themselves in the hope of discovering something which can halt the progress of the disease.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): George Miller
Production: MCA Universal Home Video
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
129 min

- One orange.

- One orange.

- Chungwa moja.

- Chungwa moja.

- Two oranges.

- Two oranges.

- Machungwa mawili.

- Machungwa mawili.

- One pineapple.

- One pineapple.

Omouri! Omouri!

Here he is,

the cleverest boy in the world.

- Hi, Mom.

- What's this?

- It's a picture.

- Oh, my goodness.

- And there's the Comoros.

- Of course it is.

- Mrs Odone, may I have a word?

- Very skilful, sweetheart.

- And Jupiter.

- Jupiter next to the Comoros?

- I'll be right there, Lorenzo.

- OK, Mommy.

- Is Lorenzo having problems at home?

- Not that I know of. Why?

Today he started throwing paints around.

He went wild, destroying other paintings.

- He must have been provoked.

- No, it came out of the blue.

He's normally such a terrific kid.

- Darling, were they teasing you?

- No.

- Were they touching your paints?

- No.

- How were they annoying you?

- They just were.

- Doing what?

- Things.

- What kind of things?

- Things that make me feel annoyed.

- Mrs Odone...

- Another incident?

Yes, and today it was much worse.

Mrs Odone, is there

some trouble at home?

Why do you assume

the trouble's at home?

Because there's nothing here that

explains his behaviour. It's... disturbed.

He does present as a hyperactive.

- But don't they repeat tasks endlessly?

- They perseverate, yes.

Lorenzo's activities all have a structure:

beginning, middle and end.

My gosh, he's learned three languages.

How could he be hyperactive?

I know it's hard to accept that

a gifted child may also be disturbed.

Lorenzo needs to be

referred to an IDP committee.

- What's that?

- For what?

Individual Disability Placement.

Lorenzo needs to be

in a special ed class.

Any special ed our son needs

will be provided at home.

Anyhow, it was snowing and he began

to rub my hands to warm them.


No, he then produced photos

of his wife and children.

- That old routine!

- Oh, Deirdre!

Had I known this was the man

I would wait ten years for...

- ...I'd have let you pick up the cheque.

- I did.

Excuse me! You did not!

Lorenzo's fallen off his bike

and he is really bleeding.

Sh. That's a boy.

Oh, such a brave boy.

Doing just fine, here.

You're going to be OK.

It's Christmas Day, you know.

All across the country

little boys are trying out their new bikes.

Hey, champ. I think you'd better

tell your folks to lighten up.

What are they gonna do when

you're playing for the Redskins?

The EEG is normal, the skull x-ray

is normal and the CT scan is normal.

I don't know what to tell you.

This boy is neurologically intact.

Doctor, we spent

three years in East Africa.

- In the Comoros.

- We were wondering...

Well, if he might have

picked up some rare parasite.

It's possible.

Lorenzo, what are you doing?


Sweetie? Can you hear Mommy?

This may be an auditory

processing difficulty.

The ears hear all right,

but the brain has trouble listening.

So, this means something

is affecting his brain.

But what? A tumour? Multiple sclerosis?

It could be any one of a dozen things.

Listen, my friend. I'd like you to come

and stay in the hospital for three days.

Your mom and dad can come too.

We're gonna run some tests

and get to the bottom of this.

Can you hear the sound?

Keep your eyes right on that spot

for me. That helps me out.

All right. Now close your eyes.

Keep your eyes closed, buddy.

Stay nice and still.

Of course, Easter festivals

existed long before baby Jesus.

In pagan times, they marked

the beginning of Spring.

The egg tells us that the earth is going to

be reborn, just like a little baby chick.

- I get it.

- Mrs Odone. Mr Odone.

Dr Judalon is ready now.

Hey, Lorenzo, would you like

to go feed the goldfish?

It's all right, sweetheart. Go ahead.

We'll be right back

in just a few minutes. Go ahead.

This way, please.

Please, have a seat.

Well, we certainly don't need

that noise, do we?


Please, Doctor, without equivocation.

There is a family of diseases.

It's quite rare.

The leukodystrophies.

Lorenzo has one of them.

It's called ALD.

ALD is an inborn error of metabolism

that causes a degeneration of the brain.

It only affects males, usually

between the ages of five and ten.

Its progress is relentless.

The end is inevitable.

All boys with ALD die, usually

within two years of diagnosis.

And there are no exceptions?

I am so sorry.

- Are you absolutely sure?

- Yes.

Lorenzo shows the definitive sign:

...an abnormally high level of fat in his

blood, certain long-chain saturated fats.



These fats... destroy his brain?

But how?

There is an enzyme

that should metabolise these fats...

...but in ALD boys it's defective.

So they collect in the nerve cells, a

little bit like a cluster on the arteries.

And... in some way...

...this liquefies

the white matter of the brain.

"Some way liquefies"?

Could you be more specific?

Well, to be honest, we're not

quite certain just how it works.

- You know what myelin is?

- No.

Myelin is the fatty... sheath

that insulates the nerves.

It's a little bit like plastic

around electrical wires.

Without it, the nerves

cannot conduct an impulse.

What ALD does is strip away the myelin.

It corrodes it, if you like.

This causes degeneration of the brain

and the body loses its functions.

But surely someone, somewhere,

must be working on this, no?

- We would go anywhere.

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George Miller

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Lorenzo's Oil" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 May 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/lorenzo's_oil_12824>.

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