When I first met my husband, ten years ago he told me about this film, and said how good he thought it was and how DiCaprio's performance as an autistic boy was spectacular. Somehow we never got around to watching it, until last night.
It was an amazingly moving film. The character development and story were very genuine and the acting, particularly by Di Caprio, was of the highest quality. We found the story all the more poignant as my husband and I now have an autistic child of our own.
I hear that Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for an oscar for his part in this film. I only find it a sin that he didn't win. At no point during the viewing of this film do you cease believing that he is indeed a boy with autism. And we know what we're talking about here. I really don't know how he managed to pull it off. I also think that he should be congratulated for having taken the role at all, as it was a brave choice for a teenage actor.
As the story unfolds you ache for the character of Gilbert. For the love that he gives Arnie, for the life that he is stuck with and the way that he soldiers on without complaint. It illustrates humanity at its best.
This film is not fast-paced. There are no car chases, no fights, no nudity. So I'm sure there will be some people who find it very boring. I think this film is magnificent, well written, well directed and spectacularly acted.
All in all, well worth viewing.