What You Need To Know:
(H, L, V, M) Humanism; 3 obscenities & 12 profanities; brief but intense beating; and, negative portrayal of extreme feminist ideology.
OLEANNA is a bitter, intense two-character drama in which a prolonged confrontation between a college professor and his student leads to charges of sexual harassment. John is a rather pompous professor (of what subject is never told) on the verge of earning tenure and its assorted perks, including a higher salary and a new house. He is, in fact, in the midst of negotiating on the phone with a Realtor when Carol, a sullen and anxious student, walks into his office. She has just received a failing grade in one of John’s classes and desperately needs to sort out her academic future. Exasperated with the pressure of both the Realtor’s and Carol’s whining, he makes the fatal mistake of closing the office door and offering to “become more personal.” While John clearly is not looking for a fling with this student, over the next few days of this claustrophobic drama Carol single-handedly flushes John’s career down the toilet, bringing charges of sexual harassment against him.
OLEANNA contains some objectionable language and very little sexual content. While the topic is worthy of an intelligent presentation, this film grates likes nails on the chalkboard for ninety long minutes before erupting into brief but horrifying violence. The film’s advertising slogan is apropos: “Whatever side you take, you’re wrong.”