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One True Thing

Director:Carl Franklin
Writer:Karen Crone
Universal Pictures; PG-13; 120 minutes
Cast:Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger, William Hurt, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham and Nicky Katt
Based on the novel by Anna Quindlen

It goes without saying that Meryl Streep gives a top-notch performance as a woman losing a hard-fought battle against cancer. But she's not the only actor in peak form. Zellweger captures all the emotions of a child watching a parent die, and Hurt's turn as an aloof, myopic academic is unflinching. When Kate Gulden (Streep), the perfect suburban housewife, is diagnosed with cancer, her husband (Hurt) convinces their journalist daughter, Ellen (Zellweger) to return home to care for her. Because she idolizes her father, Ellen reluctantly agrees, though she finds her mother's lifestyle abhorrent. Ellen begins to see things differently as she gets reacquainted with her mother and sees her overly critical, philandering father in a different light. Yes, it's a tear jerker, but an uncontrived one.

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