One True Thing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

One True Thing Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 19, 2008
Sad, but very good story about a daughter dealing with the death by cancer of the mother she never really got along with. Surprisingly, this isn't overly sentimental. I found it quite moving.
Excellent performances by Meryl Streep and Renee zellweger.
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Super Reviewer
½ April 6, 2007
meryl is very touching if only the rest of the movie matched her strong performance
Super Reviewer
November 9, 2006
Pretty good and emotional.
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2012
Good but slightly barfy film about daughters and dying mothers. I'm sure if you like that sort of thing, this is right up your alley.
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2007
Renee Zellweger's best film role, made before she was a real name. Meryl Streep is also amazing as her dying mother.
July 7, 2015
A nice family drama with really nice performances from Meryl Streep, William Hurt, and Renee Zellweger. Great script and score as well
½ May 15, 2015
You hear the premise and you think you've seen this movie before and you're right but not acted or layered like this film.
May 13, 2014
A very honest and emotional movie. Made me connect with my loss as I lost my grandmother due to cancer.
½ July 11, 2010
Meryl Streep's secret movie. No one knows a lot about this performance or movie. Although Rene Zellweger was okay in the movie, but showed how she was an up-and-coming star....once again no one was better or came close to being as good as Meryl Steep. Her performance was so moving. If you have not seen this movie, don't cast it aside as another movie about a women with cancer. It is, but it has something very different to it, and I won't tell you what it is because I may ruin it for you. Streep was once again Oscar Worthy of this role (like she always is). But something about this performance (of all the performances she has done) that will always stay in my mind.
October 15, 2007
A wonderfully acted film that takes its beauty from its simplistic drama. There is nothing flashy here, where it could've been. And the acting could've easily been over the top, especially from the stock kind of character Zellweger plays, but she is fantastic. There are a few moments overall that strike an absent chord (maybe more to the age of the film than anything), but it's Franklin's great less-is-more direction that allows the film to breathe and not become a claustrophobic disease-of-the-week movie: the scene where the town sings Silent Night as Zellweger's character holds her mother is almost single-handedly responsible for this.
Streep is heartbreaking. She seems to barely do anything, is really more of a supporting character, but still manages to carry the film and presents a vision of death towards the end of the film that gives the casual viewer more than just a pause. Her Oscar nod here was well deserved. As well, William Hurt is again fantastic and is one of those actors, who while he has won an Oscar, is still very underknown and seems to put in good work every single time.
May 10, 2010
(from The Watermark, 10/01/98)
Zellweger is an up-and-coming New York writer who is forced to go back home to care for her cancer-stricken mother (Streep). A pretty generic concept, yes, but the film incorporates many intelligent elements that bring it up to big-screen quality. Having been a Daddy's girl all her life, Zellweger has serious problems caring for Mom while her father (Hurt) continues to grow more and more distant. In the process, her perceptions of her parents' roles in their marriage and in her life change dramatically. The most interesting spin is that the film is told in flashback while Zellweger is making a statement to an attorney. Apparently Streep's eventual death comes from a drug overdose and Zellweger may have euthanized her. Now this death-in-the-family drama suddenly becomes a whodunit, too -- a very interesting approach. When Zellweger's statement is complete, the film becomes richer. We've grown to feel for the characters, and we know Zellweger's account doesn't do justice to what we've witnessed. Right up to the film's surprise ending, there is always a question of truth vs. fiction, good vs. evil, and perception vs. reality. Streep is yet again Oscar-worthy as the Supermom who slowly slips away from her family. Zellweger is quite moving, even though she doesn't project the character's distant and hard-as-nails quality as much as the script seems to call for. Hurt is also good making his seemingly jerky character into a sympathetic and heart-broken spouse. It's quite an impressive accomplishment, though in spite of its uplifting message and earlier moments of comedy, the film does have a heaviness about it. You may want to rent Schindler's List afterwards to cheer yourself up a bit.
½ March 28, 2009
In One True Thing, Streep plays Kate Gulden a mother who becomes deathly ill with cancer. Zellweger plays her daughter, Ellen, and is asked to leave her lucrative writing job in New York to tend to her mother. The movie is a moving and fascinating character study as Ellen discovers how hard her mother's life was as a homemaker and how much more like her mother she is than she would have believed. Through the trial of dealing with her sick mother, absent brother and seemingly self-possessed father, she learns some important lessons about the things that really matter in life.

This is a brilliantly done drama. Streep and Zellweger are great. The actors have a great chemistry together as the Gulden family. The plot is well constructed and kept me fascinated to the very end. Some of the minor characters detracted from the chemistry of the film, but beyond that this is well worth watching with loved ones.
March 1, 2009
A movie that truly should be seen by everyone because it's about an experience that we could face either ourselves or see it happening to someone else around us. Meryl played her character perfectly and showed her talent which really shines through this character. Renne and William Hurt were fantastic also. I would watch this film over again but the first time you see it, it really impacts you with real effect but could say if seen again the effect wouldn't be so great. It could be a movie to watch maybe just the once to see what you feel about the storyline and what you would do if faced by it..?
January 30, 2009
Okay, a lot of people might find this movie too long, or even boring, but those people have rocks for hearts. This is the rare instance where the movie is just as good as the book and the characters are as real as your neighbors when no one is watching. Renee Zellweger plays Ellen, a twenty-something New Yorker who moves back home to take care of her sick mother. She is very convincing as the angry daughter who would rather eat poop than become her mother, and although she seems cruel at times, you can still relate to her and understand what she?s going through. I just love this movie; there?s a scene b/n Ellen and Kate (her mom, Streep) where Kate pours her heart out to her daughter and it?s probably the best scene in a ?real? movie that I have ever seen. It really captures the strength of a mother.
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2008
The review by Marshall Fine is pretty accurate. The writing, acting and direction are top notch. My mom died of cancer, so it wasn't an easy film to watch. This movie has a lot to say, and what it has to say is worthwhile.
June 9, 2007
I cried.

I rewatched this movie the other night and I still found it incredibly sad. Another thing about it is, I always wonder how Zellweger looks so cute in movies and soo very DIFFERENT in "real" pictures. It's like two different people.
December 25, 2007
This film is beautiful in the way it deals with terminal illness honestly and truthfully. I can't get through the last act of this film without shedding some tears.
½ January 19, 2016
Superb Meryl being just herself. Superb. Canīt help myself disliking Rene for the role she played. An unfeeling daughter despite how super Meryl was.
July 7, 2015
A nice family drama with really nice performances from Meryl Streep, William Hurt, and Renee Zellweger. Great script and score as well
½ May 15, 2015
You hear the premise and you think you've seen this movie before and you're right but not acted or layered like this film.
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