Based on Anna Quindlen's bestselling novel, this is a mother-daughter and father-daughter story, two for the price of one. But director Carl Franklin also tries to inject a police-mystery angle that it neither needs nor wi... more »ll support. Renee Zellweger plays a young writer on the rise, who has finally gotten her break for a New York magazine. While home for a birthday party for her nearly famous writer father (William Hurt), she learns that her mother (Meryl Streep) has been diagnosed with cancer. Then her father does the unthinkable: He all but commands her to put her career on hold to take care of her mother and nurse her through her illness. Dad, a popular college professor who has never gotten the literary acclaim he always believed he deserved, essentially checks out--and daughter must play parent to her mother. Strong performances by Streep and Zellweger give this parent-child relationship the heart--and the anger--of the real thing, while Hurt seems slightly disembodied as the self-involved father whose needs have dominated both women. Still, the detective-story aspect (the film is told in flashback, as the cops try to discover whether someone slipped Mom a fatal dose of morphine) is a construct that could have been done without. --Marshall Fine« less
Slow plotline but really good family and friend plotline with lots of A-listers playing average people.
A MOVIE TO TOUCH YOUR HEART
(5 out of 5 stars)
"GET READY WITH THE TISSUES, HOWEVER, THE MOVIE IS SO TRUE TO LIFE AND WHAT HAPPENS WITHIN A FAMILY TOUCHED WITH A CANCER VICTIM. I CAN RELATE TO SO MUCH OF THE MOVIE. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW CANCER CAN AFFECT YOUR FAMILY AND WHAT GOOD CAN COME FROM GIVING FROM THE HEART, THIS MOVIE WILL GIVE YOU INSIGHT TO WHAT IT TAKES TO BE THE CARE GIVER AS WELL AS THE CANCER PATIENT. THE MOVIE IS WELL DONE AND I GIVE IT A FIVE STAR FOR QUALITY PRODUCTION. IF YOU HAVE JUST GONE THROUGH A TRAGIC SITUATION WITH CANCER, GET READY FOR SCENES WHICH WILL GIVE YOU INSIGHT INTO WHY PEOPLE ACT AS THEY DO."
Shifting Perceptions Lead to a "True" Understanding
cdset | Saylorsburg, PA United States | 02/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""One True Thing" beautifully and poignantly demonstrates that appearances can be deceiving, and that what one sees on the surface doesn't necessarily reflect the deeper truth. In this brilliantly acted film, Zellweger (the daughter), discovers that her notions about her parents (Streep and Hurt) and about marriage in general were illusions, and, in turn, comes to a greater understanding of both her parents and the realities of marriage.Zellweger's relationship with her mother was always strained. and she looked down upon her mother's life thinking it provincial and small. Her father, the college department head and National Book Award winner, however, was put on a pedestal, appearing larger than life to her. When Zellweger moves back home to nurse her dying mother, she painfully discovers that her father treats her accomplishments as "small" and irrelevant (comparable to her view of her mother), and that he is far removed from her idealized image of him. She, in turn, comes to a new admiration and appreciation for her mother's perserverance and wisdom about life. Streep, one of our greatest actresses, can communicate more with a look on her expressive face than most actresses can with hours of dialogue. Zellweger, another talented performer, more than holds her own with the formidable acting talents of Streep. The two of them together create scenes of enormous power and emotional energy. They make this perceptive and absorbing film an unforgettable experience."
A Wonderful and Interesting Family Drama!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 05/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It seems less and less frequently that we get to see a superbly assembled cast of actors united in a story that tells itself in terms of its human interest, level of drama, and opportunity to learn something from the characters about the nature of life, relationships, and ultimately about ourselves. This movie offers such an opportunity. All of the cast memebers, but especially Meryl Streep and William Hurt, do an outstanding job in presenting this tale of a family in crisis, and the hidden secrets, weaknesses and strengths of its members and their enduring bonds to each other. The photography is well done, and the sound is excellent as well. This is a worthwhile and serious movie, involving some interesting intellectual issues about how the needs of a family of strong but loving individuals and quite strong and needy personalities clash and interact with each other over an increasingly critical stage of terminal illness for the matriarchal mother of this modern American family. Overall, then, I recommend this as an absorbing examination of an intellectual family with a range of family issues such as rilvary, and a number of hidden dimensions to the relationships within the family itself. It is painful to watch each of them struggle to deal with a member's decline and death due to cancer. One of the increasingly rare worthwhile movie experiences, and one well worth owning."
THE EXTRAORDINARY SOUL OF A REGULAR "HOUSE WIFE"
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 06/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If there's one actress that can get into the skin of her character, Streep is it. She effortlessly portays a regular housewife, embroidering pillows and decorating cribs one minute, and being a veritable fountain of love and understanding the next! William Hurt turns in a convincing performance too, as the aloof and careless Regular Husband, while Zellweger adds a mean punch with her rich and dynamic presence. The theme is hardly anything earth-shattering, but there's a fine line between the genuinely moving and the saccharine, and under Franklin's low-key direction "One True Thing" succeeds where many pictures fail by maintaining its dignity and, just as importantly, its honesty. You won't cry out of a sense of obligation, but because the incredible cast drive the material straight to the heart. Highly recommended if you're in the mood for a stirring "Ordinary People" type of a drama. Keep a Kleenex handy."