We gave it a B+
Cancer creeps up quickly on the Guldens of Langhorne, Pa., but that isn’t the biggest dysfunction in the house. Streep’s wacky mom, in a noble performance that earned her an Oscar nomination, is the kind of woman who collects the shards of broken plates to make a mosaic tabletop. Brittle daughter Ellen (Zellweger) thinks her mother is ridiculous and models herself instead after her emotionally distant father (Hurt, in an intense performance) — that is, until Dad makes her come home from New York to starch his shirts and get Mom through chemo. This rental weepie is manipulative, to be sure, but — with its strong cast of actors, the fine pedigree of Anna Quindlen’s 1994 novel, and the sure hand of director Carl Franklin (”Devil in a Blue Dress”) — still a winner.