One True Thing
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Carl Franklin directed this family drama adapted from the 1995 novel by former New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen about a young woman who goes back home to take care of her dying mother. In 1987-88, independent Ellen Gulden (Renee Zellweger), a Harvard grad, is working on a New York Magazine investigative article when she hears from her father, George (William Hurt), a literary critic and university professor. He tells Ellen she's needed at home to care for her mother, Kate (Meryl Streep), who's due for surgery. Ellen needs to get away from the problems of her relationship with her… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The script shifts audience sympathies about quite adroitly, though it's a pity all the men had to be such humbugs."
‑ , Time Out
"One True Thing demonstrates that the power of simple things, the transcendent nature of the ordinary, can make for riveting filmmaking."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Probably won't appeal to teens."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"There's a lot of Oscar timber here..."
‑ Tom Meek, Film Threat
"One of those rare films -- a movie that is genuinely sad and moving without being melodramatic, sentimental or hokey."
‑ Eugene Novikov, Film Blather
"A well-oiled machine manufactured to tap our welled-up ducts."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"An emotional drama!"
‑ Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"Carl Franklin's understated direction keeps the tears and life-affirming revelations from congealing into chicken shmaltz for the soul."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Streep, Zellweger, and Hurt are outstanding."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Streep's performance will probably secure her another Oscar nomination."
‑ John R. McEwen, Film Quips Online
"Even director Carl Franklin...can't prevent One True Thing from descending into chick-movie hell."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Meryl Streep is an actress of such transcendent skill and sympathy that she regularly elevates her material, taking it up several notches and giving us feelings, insights, feelings and textures the original writer may have just missed expressing."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"There isn't one schmaltzy moment in the entire film, and any tears the viewer sobs into their hankies are well-earned."
‑ , Film4
"the movie ultimately belongs to Streep, who illuminates the extraordinary soul inside an everyday woman."
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"As finely wrought a drama as one could ask for."
‑ James Rocchi, Netflix
More reviews for One True Thing on Rotten Tomatoes