One True Thing

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9

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User Reviews

  1. VetaN.
    Jul 21, 2005
    8
    I saw this movie when I was dealing with caregiving issues with my ailing elderly parents and it resonated with me, big time. There was some cynical humor to many scenes that was right on the money. The screenplay was terrific. I read the book and I saw the movie --- and the screenplay added dimensions to the character William Hurt played that weren't in the book. It was really I saw this movie when I was dealing with caregiving issues with my ailing elderly parents and it resonated with me, big time. There was some cynical humor to many scenes that was right on the money. The screenplay was terrific. I read the book and I saw the movie --- and the screenplay added dimensions to the character William Hurt played that weren't in the book. It was really interesting for me to compare the screenplay with the book. I think the film lost something in translation to film, plot wise. The ending of the movie was just too cut and dried. The resolution of the story, the woman's coming to terms with her father's flakiness occured over a period of years in the book and in the movie, the resolution was reduced to a few minutes right at the end. This is one of the few cases where the movie and the book matched up pretty equally in their effectiveness. The movie brought out new dimensions in the father (played by William Hurt) but the plot development suffered in comparison with the book because the Hollywood ending was too cut-and-dried, the resolution was immediate and it didn't occur over a period of years --- due to constraints in the medium no doubt. Expand
  2. Jun 20, 2016
    10
    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 moreI 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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Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. 80
    An uplifting, superbly acted and intelligent family drama.
  2. Admirably restrained melodrama.
  3. A formulaic family melodrama whose craftsmanship and sensitivity to its characters raises it to the level of sublime group portrait.