Lorenzo's Oil

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Lorenzo's Oil is a 1992 film about a boy who develops a disease so rare that nobody is working on a cure. His parents decide to learn all about it and tackle the problem themselves. It is based on a true story of Augusto and Michaela Odone, two parents in a relentless search for a cure for their son Lorenzo's adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD).

Directed by George Miller. Written by George Miller and Nick Enright.
Some people make their own miracles.

Professor Nikolias[edit]

  • Do you know how many children die every year from choking on french fries? Many more than from Adrenoleukodystrophy. You see, ours is what is known as an orphan disease, too small to be noticed, too small to be funded, especially with the iron hand of "Reaganomics".


Augusto Odone: Dr. Nikolias, what about the other boys, what results are you seeing in them?
Professor Nikolias: As with Lorenzo it's too early to tell. We need this study to run for the full six months.
Augusto Odone: And that would tell you what is obvious right now? That avoiding apple skins and pizza has no effect on this brutal disease?

Augusto Odone: When we first went to the Comoros, what did we do? We got to know the country, right?
Michaela Odone: Yes
Augusto Odone: We studied, we got to know the language, resources, its law. We studied, right? We should treat Lorenzo's illness like another country.
Michaela Odone: I don't quite see the analogy.
Augusto Odone: All right, all right. ALD has many dimensions, right?
Michaela Odone: Yes
Augusto Odone: So, in order to understand it, we need to command genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, neurology, ology-ology.
Michaela Odone: Augusto, we don't have time to go to medical school.
Augusto Odone: Michaela, the doctors are in the dark. They're groping in the dark. They've got Lorenzo on a turvy-topsy diet. And that bloody immunosuppression is brutal and useless. Michaela, we should not have consigned him blindly into their hands. He should not suffer by our ignorance. We take responsibility. So... we read a little. And we go out and inform ourselves.
Michaela Odone: But... to miss time with him while he can still speak to us...
Augusto Odone: Yes, I know, I know. But he expects it of us.

Ellard Muscatine: When Michael, our first boy, got sick, we searched around looking for anything that might help him. You know what was the best thing that happened? He was taken quickly. Now Tommy... he has lasted three years, for two of them, he's been without his sight, his mind, everything that makes him a human being, he's a vegetable. Y'know if you would just stop all this denial, you wouldn't do a thing to prolong your boy's suffering and indignity one minute longer.
Loretta Muscatine: Has it occurred to you that maybe he doesn't want to be around anymore?

Michaela Odone: The life of one boy is not enough reward for you to risk the reputation of the institution and the esteem of your peers.
Professor Nikolias: That was uncalled for. Your responsibility is merely towards your own child. My responsibility is towards all the boys that suffer from this disease, now and in the future. Of course I anguish for the suffering of your boy. And of course I applaud you for the efforts you make on his behalf. But I will have nothing to do with this oil.
Michaela Odone: We are not asking, Doctor, for your anguish or your applause. We are asking merely for a little courage.

Michaela Odone: Here he is! The cleverest boy in the world.
Lorenzo Odone: Hi, Mom.
Michaela Odone: What's this?
Lorenzo Odone: It's, uh, it's a picture.
Michaela Odone: Oh, my goodness!
Lorenzo Odone: And, uh, there's the Comoros.
Michaela Odone: Of course, it is.
Young Teacher: Mrs. Odone, may I have a word?
Lorenzo Odone: And Jupiter.
Michaela Odone: Jupiter's next to the Comoros? That's very skillful, Sweetheart. I'll be right there, Lorenzo, yes?
Lorenzo Odone: Okay, Mommy.
Young Teacher: Mrs. Odone, is Lorenzo having trouble at home?
Michaela Odone: Not that I know of, why?
Young Teacher: Today, he started throwing paints around. He went wild, destroying other paintings.
Michaela Odone: He must've been provoked.
Young Teacher: No, it came out of the blue. He's normally such a terrific kid.

Michaela Odone: Darling, how were they annoying you? Were they teasing you?
Lorenzo Odone: No.
Michaela Odone: Were they touching your paints?
Lorenzo Odone: No.
Michaela Odone: Well, how were they annoying you?
Lorenzo Odone: They just were.
Michaela Odone: Doing what?
Lorenzo Odone: Things.
Michaela Odone: What kind of things?
Lorenzo Odone: Things that make me feel annoyed.

Lorenzo Odone: Now, hold my hand.
Michaela Odone: Yes, Sweetie.
Lorenzo Odone: Now, the story.
Michaela Odone: And what story is that, Sweetheart.
Lorenzo Odone: La Notte di San Lorenzo
Michaela Odone: San Lorenzo, who is?
Lorenzo Odone: My patron saint and saint to my father's village.
Michaela Odone: That's right, and what happened to him?
Lorenzo Odone: He was in Rome and, I forgot.
Augusto Odone: Well; many years ago, the bad guy says to him 'Bring me the riches of your church!' and Lorenzo, he brings them the beggars and the sick people and he says—
Lorenzo Odone: 'These are our riches!'
Augusto Odone: Yes! Bravo, Lorenzino!
Michaela Odone: That's wonderful, Sweetheart! So clever, bravo! And tonight, August 10th, is?
Lorenzo Odone: La Notte di San Lorenzo.
Michaela Odone: The night of the shooting stars.
Augusto Odone: When anything can happen.

Lorenzo Odone: Why are all these people here?
Immunosuppression Doctor: Beg your pardon, Lorenzo?
Lorenzo Odone: Why are all these people here?
Doctor: He asked 'why are all these people here?'
Immunosuppression Doctor: Lorenzo, they're all doctors and they're here because they want to learn how to help other boys in the future.
Lorenzo Odone: Other boys with the boo-boo?
Michaela Odone: Yes.

Principal: Mrs. Odone?
Michaela Odone: Another incident?
Principal: Yes. And today, it was much worse. Mrs. Odone, is there some trouble at home?
Michaela Odone: Why do you assume the trouble is at home?
Principal: Because there's nothing here that describes his behavior. It's... disturbed.

Lorenzo Odone: (Aggravtedly screaming and yelling while throwing things around.)

School Therapist: He does present as a Hyperactive.
Michaela Odone: But Hyperactives repeat tasks endlessly, don't they?
School Therapist: They perseverate, yes.
Augusto Odone: Lorenzo's activities all have structure: beginning, middle and end.
Michaela Odone: My Gosh, he's learned three languages. How can he be Hyperactive?
School Therapist: I know it's hard to accept that a gifted child may also be disturbed. Lorenzo needs to be referred to our IDP committee.
Michaela Odone: IDP committee? What's that?
Augusto Odone: For what?
School Therapist: Individual Disablity Placement. Lorenzo needs to be in a special ed. class.
Michaela Odone: Any special ed. our son needs will be provided at home.


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