Family affair (film)

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German title Family thing
Original title One true thing
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1998
length 127 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Carl Franklin
script Karen Croner
production Jesse Beaton ,
Harry J. Ufland
music Cliff Eidelman
camera Declan Quinn
cut Carole Krawetz

Thing is an American film drama by Carl Franklin from the year 1998 . It was based on a novel by Anna Quindlen.


The film begins with a brief flashback to the youth of the main character Ellen Gulden . In it you learn that the father attaches great importance to literary education, but the mother does not take a lot of things too seriously. It becomes evident that Ellen is more emulating her father than her mother. Shortly afterwards, the now grown-up Ellen can be seen in an office room describing the distant relationship with her mother to a prosecutor. In the following conversation, the events in the Gulden parents' house are rolled out chronologically by means of flashbacks. The discrepancy between the events described and the actual events only gradually becomes visible. It all starts with Ellen , now a successful journalist, going back to their hometown with her best friend Jules for the birthday of their father, a renowned professor of American literature. On the day of her arrival, she learns that her younger brother Brian failed his final exam in American literature, which he is hiding from his father. The mother, on the other hand, is in good spirits as always and has prepared a surprise party for her husband, which apparently leads to a successful party. The next day, however, Ellen learns from her father that her mother, Kate , has cancer . Her father encourages her to quit her job and take care of her mother. Ellen experiences great internal struggles as the decision can mean the end of her career. Her boss offers her a promotion because he believes the stories about her terminally ill mother are a veiled request. Ellen is horrified. She then reluctantly decides to return to the small town. Now Ellen gets a glimpse of her mother's everyday world and her mother's decline due to illness. Over the next few months, Ellen gets closer to her mother and begins to distance herself from her father. In the end, events culminate in Ellen learning to love her mother and de-glorifying her father. She also begins to understand the true relationship between her parents.

Ultimately, the public prosecutor suspects the daughter and father of giving the mother a fatal morphine overdose. In the last scene, however, in which the father and daughter meet at the grave, it becomes clear that neither of them assisted in dying. The father doubts that the mother took the morphine overdose herself: "She was far too weak!" It remains to be seen whether Kate Goulden ultimately committed suicide or whether her son Brian, with whom she had always had a close relationship, was in the Came to her on the night of her death to help her die.


Filmdienst : “ A sensitive film about a healing process within the family, which cleverly maintains the balance between closeness and distance to the characters and, thanks to the ideal cast of the main characters, finds a convincing unity. "


Meryl Streep was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award in 1999 for her performance . She was also nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award and the Golden Satellite Award . The film was nominated for the Golden Reel Award in 1999 for sound editing .


Production costs were estimated at 30 million US dollars . The film grossed approximately $ 23.2 million in US cinemas.


  1. Box office / business for One True Thing, accessed June 17, 2007

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