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One True Thing [DVD] [1998]

Release Date:03/16/1999
A mainstream effort from independent film auteur Carl Franklin, One True Thing was released to little fanfare and small box office in 1998. Despite an Oscar-nominated performance by Meryl Streep, the film is still relatively unknown and will probably remain so on DVD. Even so, the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is a nearly flawless effort from Universal. The only supplements are the trailer and a fluffy, back-patting "On Location" feature. Since the film was adapted from a popular book, some insight into the adaptation process would have been appreciated. Likewise, not much is made of Franklin's transition to more mainstream fare after films like One False Move. Studios will hopefully realize someday that ten-minute featurettes that run like an extended trailer for the film are about as helpful in learning about the filmmaking process as no featurette at all. One True Thing is another fine transfer from Universal, but the DVD is still only worth a rental.

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    Special Features

    • Spotlight on Location
    • Production notes
    • Cast and filmmakers' bios
    • Film highlights
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Web liniks


    One True Thing
    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 boyfriend Jordan (Nicky Katt), but she plans to continue work on the magazine article from home. In truth, Ellen is uncomfortable with her mother's various ladies club lunches, and holiday preparations, and she finds communication with her mother awkward. Once Ellen arrives back home, she's dismayed to find herself caught in the web of her mother's Middle America activities. Ellen's attitude changes when it becomes apparent this probably will be the final Thanksgiving and Christmas with all family members present. But tensions erupt as long-buried family secrets emerge. Locations in New Jersey were used to create the film's Eastern coastal college town. Shown at the 1998 Montreal Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Meryl Streep
      Meryl Streep - Kate Gulden
    • Renée Zellweger
      Renée Zellweger - Ellen Gulden
    • William Hurt
      William Hurt - George Gulden
    • Tom Everett Scott
      Tom Everett Scott - Brian Gulden
    • Lauren Graham
      Lauren Graham - Jules

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.