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White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Astrid, a girl whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes - each its own universe with its own laws, its own dangers, its own hard lessons to be learned - becomes a redeeming journey of self-discovery. Based on the acclaimed best-selling novel by Janet Fitch, White Oleander follows a young woman's journey through hardship and loss to maturity, joy and true independence.
After her uncompromising but seductive mother Ingrid (MICHELLE PFEIFFER) kills her boyfriend for abandoning her, fifteen-year-old Astrid (ALISON LOHMAN) witnesses her mother's arrest. It's an event that will change the course of both their lives. Suddenly, young Astrid is on her own.
Shuttled through a series of foster homes (and foster mothers including ROBIN WRIGHT PENN and RENÉE ZELLWEGER), Astrid struggles to master the techniques she needs if she's to survive the unyielding and often harsh world she is thrust into. Astrid tries desperately to forge her own identity within her ever-changing environment. From behind bars, Ingrid's powerful influence is the only constant in Astrid's life. For good, and for bad...
In the three years that mark her passage from child to adult, Astrid must learn the value of independence and courage, rage and forgiveness, love and survival, to earn her freedom from the past.