What's Eating Gilbert Grape? [DVD]
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Quirky observational comedy drama from Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom. Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) leads a dull life in desolate backwater, Endora, Iowa, looking after his overweight mother and his mentally unstable brother (Leonardo DiCaprio). When a mysterious girl moves to town with her grandparents, Gilbert's life begins to change.
Based on the novel by Peter Hedges (who adapted his own book) and directed by Lasse Hallström, What's Eating Gilbert Grape is the funny, moody tale of young Gilbert (Johnny Depp), who lives at home in a small town with his 500-pound Momma (beautifully played by non-professional Darlene Cates), his mentally retarded younger brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio, utterly convincing), and his sisters. Not a lot happens--Arnie keeps climbing a water tower and getting stuck; Gilbert is involved with a married woman (Mary Steenburgen), then meets a nice new girl in town who's closer to his age (Juliette Lewis). And that's exactly what makes this movie so much more than your run-of-the-mill Hollywood product: it's not about some mechanical, formulaic plot; it's about these characters, and it allows you to spend some time with them and get to know them. Depp proved yet again that he's one of the most interesting, unpredictable, and risk-taking actors in American movies; while a pre-Titanic DiCaprio deservedly received an Oscar nomination. --Jim Emerson
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Top Customer Reviews
The film is seriously poignant but feelgood, containing lots of humour, some of which is a little blackish although very much in context.
Although Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio have become famous for their later roles this film displays for me their absolute brilliance.
Get it, watch it, make your own mind up, but I hope you enjoy this masterpiece.
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.
The film tackles issues of prejudice and adversity with delicacy and a wry touch. It's beautifully filmed and completely uncontrived, a truly rare film which I would and do recommend to anyone that listens!
From the locations to the wonderful characters, this is a film that will blow you away.
Johnny Depp is fantastic as Gilbert, a hard working average guy who is always looking out for everyone else but himself.He is so loveable in this role as you feel exactly what he's going through with his disfunctional family.
But as much as I am a Depp fan, I have to give huge credit to Leonardo Dicaprio. His performance is outstanding as Arnie, Gilbert's mentally ill younger brother.Just the scene where he climbs the gas tank gets you laughing out loud.
("Match in the gas tank....Boom,Boom!")
This is an absolutely beautiful film and you will want to watch it again and again.
Depp and Lewis are both very good, as is Mary Steenburgen as Gilbert's married lover, but this movie really belongs to Di Caprio as Gilbert's retarded brother, Arnie. His performance is so convincing, so moving, that if he weren't a superstar actor you'd be convinced he was genuinely handicapped. All are convincingly natural in this offbeat little gem, which is funny and sad in equal measure.
He's trapped in Endora, somewhere, probably Kansas or Nebraska or Iowa (actually filmed in Texas), somewhere in the heart of the Heartland--by the way this is the sort of American film that plays as a foreign film in, say, France or Sweden. Along comes Juliette Lewis who's a bit of a short-haired punk to his long-haired country ("Get in the car, longhair"). He is wallowing in self-pity and she sees it. "What about you?" she asks. "What do you want?"
She attracts him and frightens him. She may make him upset his predictable life as Job. And then one day, he loses it and hits Arnie, and hits him again. Who can blame him? But you don't hurt Arnie. He is just a boy who will always be a boy.
Johnny Depp is Gilbert Grape, Leonardo DiCaprio is Arnie, Mary Steenburgen is the married woman, Juliette Lewis is Becky and Darlene Cates is Mama. They all give sterling performances. The script and direction are flawless. You've probably seen bits and pieces of this movie on TV. See the whole thing. It is an outstanding flick. Gilbert is an America hero. He knows the good and the bad, and he always tries to do the good. But it's tough. Life is an embarrassment and a boredom, and when it isn't boring, it's scary emotionally. Depp is perfectly cast as a man whose loyalty to his family and his love for them has trapped him. And they are using him, and they don't appreciate him. His father disappeared.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good year of movie's from Johnny Depp. I do prefer Benny & Joon. What I like about this movie is it doesn't seem to try and be some big thing, w/ explosions and CGI and all that... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Wild Wolf Tears
An amazing movie with the most brilliant actors of our generation starring in it. Leonardo DiCaprio's role as Arnie Grape was Oscar worthy and Johnny Depp as Gilbert Grape was so... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Leo dicaprio is so natural as arnie the autistic brother that you cant tell if its acting or not. Very good performance. Read morePublished 1 month ago by zero charisma
rubbish - he just coasts it on his self belief in his own good looks,Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
The movie is amazing, but the blu ray dosen't have subtitles, even though this movie must be seen.Published 3 months ago by Maria José Vilarrasa Penas