Short Takes: Jan. 11, 1993

CINEMA

An Energy Shortage

AT THE CENTER OF LORENZO'S OIL LIES A desperately sick child. But in director George Miller's tedious film, he is also, during much of the time, lost. For this true story of Augusto and Michaela Odone (Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon) focuses on their frantic efforts to find a cure for their boy's rare disease (adrenoleukodystrophy). Their search leads them into shrill conflict with an overcautious medical establishment. It also draws them into that least cinematic of environments, the library. When they are not poring over volumes, they are earnestly discussing their various findings. Both modes distance...

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