Kindly Bessie (Diane Keaton) has devoted her life to caring for her ailing father with no help from her estranged sister, Lee (Meryl Streep), the black sheep of the family. But now, Bessie is gravely ill and needs Lee's help.
I usually don't care for Diane Keaton's acting, but I did like her in this role. She plays an utterly selfless woman who could easily have been cloying, but was instead, quite sympathetic and noble. Streep does her usual expert job, playing a woman who won't win any Mother of the Year awards. And DiCaprio, looking very young a year before Titanic
, steals all his scenes as a dangerous teen who hates his mother so much he burns down the house.
This is a poignant look at illness and dying through the eyes of three very different characters. I was sorry it ended so abruptly without resolving the story, but that makes it feel even more real. This is a movie I'll want to watch again when I'm feeling blue; it will help me keep things in perspective and remind me what's really important.