Poor Jolene. An orphan raised in, and serially abused in, foster homes, she finds someone to marry her at 16, seeing her way out of her hopeless life. She shortly makes things worse for herself, going through a series of hard times and relationships that begin ideally and end in horrible circumstances. If there's something to be gained from this film, it's a positive message that we are not defined by our past but by our hope for better things. But Jolene takes an ugly path to get there.
|Flattery will get you everywhere with Jolene.|
Good for Jolene for pressing on in spite of the repeated bad hands she's dealt. Bad for Doctorow for demeaning the greatest source of hope she might have found.
Bottom line, 2 stars.