MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1/2

University professor John (William H. Macy) just wants to get home at the end of a long day. There's a lot going on in his life - he's up for tenure at the university, and is buying the house of his dreams. Just as he is about to walk out the door of his office, in comes student Carol (Debra Eisenstadt). She is distraught, concerned with the effect the poor grade he has given her will have on her parents. John opens up to her, telling her that he was much like her when he was a student. He tries to help her, all the while trying to get out of the office for his other pressing appointments. When she gets hysterical, he hugs her and comforts her. The next day he learns that Carol has written a letter to the tenure committee, charging him with sexual harassment. When he confronts her, she states that she and her "group," presumably radical feminists, want him suspended. Trying to explain himself to her, he physically forces her to sit down and listen. Sure enough, he's subsequently charged with attempted rape. His life falling apart, he confronts her one more time, with disastrous results. Being a stage play, OLEANNA is "wordy," but it never drags. Given its timely theme, older teenagers and adults will find the film engrossing.

Based on David Mamet's controversial stage play, OLEANNA pulls no punches. "Politically incorrect," it addresses the injustices and inequities in our society. John is guilty until proven innocent, Carol's statement is all that is needed to convict him. The film more or less takes John's side, but when he finally snaps we see that there are no winners in this game. Oleanna features fine performances and top-notch writing. The first half of the film is almost devoid of objectionable language, but when things heat up so does the language, including two obscenities. Although John hits Carol several times, it serves to express the intenseness of his frustration. OLEANNA is designed to make the viewer think about both sides of the controversial subject of sexual harassment and abuse, and it succeeds.

Preview Reviewer: Pete Zimowski
Samuel Goldwyn Co., 10203 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067-6403

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (7) times - Mild 5, Moderate 2

Obscene Language: Few (3) times (f-word 1, slang for female anatomy and sexual intercourse)

Profanity: Several (7) times - Regular 1, Exclamatory 6

Violence: Few times - Mild and Moderate (man pushes woman; hits woman with hand and fist in fit of anger)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Tragic consequences of false accusations

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teenager and adult

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