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One True Thing

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: One True Thing

Starring: Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger
Director: Carl Franklin
Rated: R
RunTime: 127 Minutes
Release Date: September 1998
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: William Hurt, Tom Everett Scott, James Eckhouse

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

With all that has been written about the feminist movement, it took Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna Quindlen to write an engrossing story that dramatizes the complex difference between our mother's generation and us, a confrontation between a woman whose expectations never extended beyond her home and her children and her husband's career, who viewed her life as an adjunct to those things, and her daughter, whom she raised not only to work but to expect the world. Renee Zellweger ("Jerry Maguire") plays an ambitious Manhattan journalist who is forced to move back home to help her middle-aged parents - Meryl Streep and William Hurt - through a cancer crisis. Not only does she discover who her parents really are - their strengths, their weaknesses - but the gutsy, gritty emotional journey she undertakes as a care-giver is a complicated rite-of-passage to her own maturity. Superbly adapted for the screen by Karen Croner and directed by Carl Franklin ("Devil in a Blue Dress"), the performances are dazzling, except for Tom E. Scott's bland younger brother character which is grossly underwritten. Renee Zellweger, in particular, is captivating; she is irresistible as an actress, while Meryl Streep is luminous, perceptive, and courageous. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "One True Thing" is a wise, resolute 8. It's a remarkable, intimate film that reverberates with love for an unbroken generation of stay-at-home mothers who knew how to have fun within a limited arena and to love the life they made for themselves.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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