One True Thing (1998)

R  |   |  Drama  |  18 September 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 9,021 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 112 user | 64 critic | 25 from

A career woman reassesses her parents' lives after she is forced to care for her cancer-stricken mother.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Gulden
Jordan Belzer
District Attorney
G.A. Tweedy
Oliver Most
David Byron ...
Senator Sullivan
Lizbeth MacKay ...
Dr. Cohen
Mary Catherine Wright ...
Sloane Shelton ...
Evelyn Best
Michele Shay ...


When a tough New Yorker's mother is stricken with a serious illness, she is forced to quit her job and her relationship with her boyfriend to take care of her, finding out a lot of things she didn't know about her mother and father and her life along the way. Written by L. Lim <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | new york | cancer | job | professor | See All (39) »


Love What You Have.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

18 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cosas que importan  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,606,455 (USA) (18 September 1998)


$23,209,440 (USA) (13 November 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Meryl Streep, Renée Zellweger and William Hurt. See more »


In some birthday-party scenes, daylight is visible through some windows, and lighting on the staircase suggests daylight, although the action is supposed to be at night, and other windows show darkness outdoors. See more »


[to Ellen]
George Gulden: Your mother needs you, Ellen! Jesus Christ, you got a Harvard education, but where is your heart?
See more »


References Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) See more »


My Blue Room
Written by Doug Allen
Performed by Doug Allen
See more »

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User Reviews

26 September 2004 | by (Chattanooga,TN) – See all my reviews

The reason I think this movie is fabulous is that it has so many layers of emotion. From the script and the fabulous acting you can tell that there is a history behind all of the feelings that there are. You understand why the characters take certain actions and why the do not make others. You can feel sympathy and joy and love and sorrow for them all at once. You see humanity at its best AND at it's worst. You can relate to the characters because although you may have never been in their exact situations before you see qualities and downfalls in them that you see in yourself. To a certain extent this movie kind of keeps you wondering but then at the end it explains itself and you feel a certain peace and understanding not only in you but for the characters. I will say that I have have never EVER cried so much in my life nor have gotten so much out of something. I implore you to watch this movie and take it's meaning to heart. That there is only one true thing and that is... love.

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anyone else have a mom with cancer? gillibilli
The Book? dreamer989
Most inspirational quote in the movie? iHeartMeryl
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