One True Thing


Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25

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Critic Reviews

  1. 60
    The vicarious catharsis offered by this adaptation of Anna Quindlen's novel is as efficient as that of any family-affected-by-illness drama.
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Meek
    Hobbled melodrama with obvious "Terms of Endearment" pretensions.
  3. Quindlen's book is wry and deeply sad in its prose, but watching actors run this very simple maze is significantly less entertaining, or convincing.
  4. 50
    No matter how tactful and sensitive Franklin's direction, he has made himself complicit in a polarization that panders to anti-intellectual populism even as it caters to women's movement backlash.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The movie's themes are enormously resonant, which makes its doddering tastefulness that much more frustrating.
  6. 40
    This might have worked if the director and lead actress had the kind of intense mutual understanding that, say, Ingmar Bergman had with Liv Ullmann, or John Cassavetes had with Gena Rowlands.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 20, 2016
    I recently discovered this on a library DVD. I never heard of it and therefore had no preconcieved ideas about it-how did the critics react,I recently discovered this on a library DVD. I never heard of it and therefore had no preconcieved ideas about it-how did the critics react, etc. What a shame this one went by my radar because I would have loved to see it on the big screen (and in 1998 it would have been in 35mm). Streep plays the mother and housewife that allows her husband Bill Hurt be a selfish academic who is more concerned with his place in the literary world than of his beloved wife's eminent death from cancer. So much so he insists
    that his daughter(Zellwiger) simply drop her good job in NYC and come home and take care of her mother-as it turns out-so he can remain in HIS job, feeling the important man of letters and grabbing the occasional young coed for some "private tutoring." I always hear Streep is the actress's actress, one of the best, etc but I really never appreciated why until this movie. She simply embodies this selfless woman who looks the other way while her husband "works late, has a late class". The scene where the poet laureate pays a suprise visit says so much about him-apparently the poet at one time praised his first novel (which meant a lot to Hurt ) only to find that years later the poet didn't even remember the book-quite the slap in the face to the would-be great author that he thought he was.
    I thought it was going to be another uninspired library dvd night-what a suprise this delightful film was...maybe someday it will be revivied-at a Streep retrospective in NYC or something-I'd love to see it on a big screen with an audience. Probably won' t happen-and that's too bad.
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