One True Thing Reviews
Excellent performances by Meryl Streep and Renee zellweger.
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.
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.
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.
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.