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Originally published September 3, 2009 at 3:00 PM | Page modified September 3, 2009 at 5:01 PM

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Movie review

'My One and Only' is a quiet charmer

Renée Zellweger delivers a charming performance in "My One and Only," based on the early life of actor George Hamilton. Review by Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald.

Seattle Times movie critic

Movie review 3 stars

"My One and Only," with Renée Zellweger, Kevin Bacon, Logan Lerman, Mark Rendall. Directed by Richard Loncraine, from a screenplay by Charlie Peters. 107 minutes. Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language. Several theaters; see Page 14.

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Captured in nostalgic amber light, "My One and Only" is a sweet tribute to a mother. As it begins, Ann Devereaux (Renée Zellweger) has just flounced out on her cheating husband (Kevin Bacon) and out of her comfortable life in 1950s New York. (Ann doesn't walk; she flounces.) With sons George (Logan Lerman) and Robbie (Mark Rendall) in tow, she's off in search for another man to take care of her — and discovers, in the process, that she's perfectly capable of taking care of herself.

This isn't exactly untraveled territory, but director Richard Loncraine makes this potentially familiar story fresh, though we always know where Ann's baby-blue Cadillac is going.

Based on the early life of famously tan actor George Hamilton (whose teenage self is depicted here as remarkably pale), "My One and Only" unfolds like a series of postcards from the road to Hollywood, from Manhattan.

Robbie, a cheery free spirit who enjoys embroidery, dreams of becoming an actor (though the family never stays in one place long enough for him to appear in the school play); George ponders "The Catcher in the Rye" and imagines maybe being a writer someday.

Lerman and Rendall find an easy chemistry with Zellweger, whose Ann has a carefully girlish voice, a sway in her walk, an axiom for every occasion ("Never contradict a woman while in your underwear") and an irresistible tendency to use her powder puff to punctuate conversation. It's a lovely performance in a film whose quiet charms sneak up on you, like a song you suddenly can't stop humming.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com

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