July 23, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

One of the rare medical-mystery movies to rise above TV platitudes, Lorenzo’s Oil is discomfiting but essential — and its scenes of a boy lost to disease seem easier to take on the small screen. As Michaela Odone, who with husband Augusto (Nolte) bucked the medical establishment to shed light on the genetic disorder destroying their son, Sarandon again proves she’s one of the most intelligent actresses working today. George Miller directs with the same kinetic ferocity that distinguished his old Mad Max car pileups. B+

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