[box cover]


David Mamet's 1992 two-character stage play Oleanna, dramatizing a power struggle between a university professor and a female student who accuses him of sexual harassment and rape, was cinematized word for word in this 1994 film. But something was lost in the translation, leading to a dreary, unfocused movie that seems to have been made to fulfill a contractual obligation. Only actor William H. Macy, as the self-absorbed and victimized professor, offers anything attractive here, although even he is hampered by the oddly subpar Mamet script, Mamet's half-hearted directing, poor production work, and especially Debra Eisenstadt as the obtuse, hapless student who wrecks his life and drives him to a typical display of Mametian male violence. MGM's wholly unremarkable DVD edition of Oleanna presents a good clean print and transfer (1.66:1, non-anamorphic) with good monaural DD 2.0 audio. The only supplement is the original theatrical trailer. Keep-case.
—Mark Bourne

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