I was going to whitter on about how I cleared HQ and weeded the garden this weekend and how lovely the weather was. But last night I watched a dvd that was so totally amazing I just want to share it with you today.
ONE TRUE THING was made in 1998 and stars Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger and William Hurt. It is one of those films that really hits home because it is on a totally human scale. It is not a big movie in any sense, it is about a family and all the mechanics involved within that one word.
Meryl Streep is Katherine, a woman in her late forties whose life revolves around her family, her crafts, her homemaking and her local Minnies club where lunches are had and good deeds done. Her husband George (John Hurt) is a writer and college lecturer, a man who is so embroiled in his own life and self importance that he hardly notices his wife any more. Renee Zellweger is their grown up daughter Ellen, a high flyer who has worshipped her father her whole life. She has followed in his ink filled foot steps and now works in New York for a newspaper.
The film starts with a surprise birthday party for George. you get the feeling that Katherine has done this year in and year out. All the family have gathered and everyone has to dress as a character from literature. Ellen is seeking approval from her father for her writing career and at the same time very subtly being condescending to her mother for her stay at home lifestyle and downhome attitudes.
Everything changes within 24 hours when Katherine is diagnosed with cancer and George insists that Ellen should give up her work and move back home to look after he mother. There is resentment, tension, love and kindness.
Ellen has to become part of her mothers life and do the things she does. She cooks, she crafts and she becomes part of the minnies, a womans group who organise charity events in the town and basically do good deeds in the local community. This is so not what she wants to be doing with her life, but as the film progresses she sees her mothers life in a different light and appreciates all she does.
Meanwhile her father continues with his own life, his affairs and his rather self congratulatory and high minded opinions. You feel so frustrated by this guy, you just want to shake him or kick him, at least I did. Actually let's be honest, I wanted to strangle the guy.
It is a film that moves you to tears but not in a predictable sentimental way. It really brings you to your knees with emotion. There is so much gritty realism, the small things of everyday life. You feel Katherine's frustration when she breaks the dishes in the kitchen, when she can't do the things she would normally never even think about. But I defy anyone not to be moved to tears when she is stuck in the bath and her daughter lovingly lifts her out.
It is a film about love, relationships and everyday drama. It is about life and is true to life. It is funny and witty and uplifting and sad. It will take you through a field of emotions and leave you at the other side thinking about the people and events in your own life.
I'd never heard of this film before. Last week I was touring Amazon (a hobby of mine) and looking up Meryl Streep movies to buy on dvd. I bought Heartburn (nowhere near as good as the book), Postcards From The Edge (brilliant) and this one, all for the grand sum of £3.99 each including postage.
So what can I say girls, if you haven't seen this movie then trot right over to Amazon and whip out the pocket money. This is one for the keep shelf, one that will be played again and again over the years to come. Get some treats in ready for a serious movie night, then put your feet up and enjoy.