One True Thing Reviews
One True Thing stars Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger and William Hurt. This centers around Ellen Gulden, a young, ambitious yet hard woman who works for a newspaper and is very successful at it. Her life seems to be ideal and normal, a job she loves, a boyfriend she has a passion for (it doesn't feel like love) and a girlfriend she hangs out with. She lives the desirable life of a person in their twenties. This is all interrupted one day when she gets a call from her father, Kate.
He calls her and tells her about a birthday party her father, George, is having. Annoyed and feeling forced, Ellen decides to go. Kate appears and is genuinely a soulful, extremely delightful woman of two children and a seemingly lovely husband. She is bright and a joy to be around, making you want her to be your own mother or at the very least, a family member. But Ellen only sees her as an irritating, stubborn pushover. You can see this from her attitude towards her and begin to feel sympathy for Kate and rather frustrated with Ellen. Not really angry, but frustrated.
It is clear Ellen adores her father, a middle aged college professor. As the story progresses, Ellen realizes and finds out that Kate is ill and eventually diagnosed with terminal cancer. George forces her to stay with her mother and she reluctantly does. As she spends time with her ailing mother as her caretaker, she slowly realizes that she is becoming her daughter too. And as she becomes closer to Kate, she notices her father's sneaky acts as he is cheating with a student.
But of course, the best performance is Meryl Streep. She never comes off as bad or mediocre or even simply as OK. She enters Kate's world of bottled up pain and shining nature. She is like a warm blanket you climb into bed with at the end of the day. Her work paid off with her 11th Oscar nomination, which she would receive seven seven more in the future.
Renee Zellweger seems as if she is in a simple soap opera in the beginning, but she is perfectly fine as a regular woman who has problems with keeping relationships with people who are close to her. Hurt is solid but seems a bit dull in other scenes. The film itself sounds like a typical old family soap opera, but comes off as uncanny and intriguing. It's not about troubles in families, but about how to improve them.
(1998) One True Thing
This is my second viewing for it's based on the novel by Anna Quindlen starring Renée Zellweger as Ellen Gulden whose answering questions before an inquiry regarding the death of her mom, Kate played by the exceptional Meryl Streep. As the movie uses flashbacks, the approach to that revelation is carefully handled as we invest into this particular family's lives upon the affect a family member who've been diagnosed with something can have on others. In this case, it affects the daughter much more in the physical sense than it does than on the father and brother. The set up, the daughter's notified that mom has cancer, and her dad, George played by William Hurt has just requested her only daughter to look after her, even though she has much more in common with him than she does with her mother since they're both in the professional field of writing. We also get the sense how some stay-at-home mothers are not usually appreciated for all the work they do at home. Zellweger's performance here is almost similar to her performance in Jerry McGuire. Hurt, Zellweger, and Streep have all won Oscars and wouldn't be worth watching if it wasn't for them.
3 out of 4 stars
Meryl Streep won an Oscar for this role!!
Very sad movie that tells the truth of every American girl relationship with the American mother