What's Eating Gilbert Grape
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  • Whats eating Arnie Grape
    No question, Johnny Depp, was outstanding in this film as was the flawless performance by all the actors, but this was DiCaprios Tour De Fource as the mentally challanged ( I hate the word Retarded)..younger brother. It was the most flawless performance of a disabled child since the Miracle Worker, with Patty Duke. I read in one review that he thought the character of DiCaprio REALLY was "Retarded". When he didnt win the nomination at the oscars I was P***ed! I feel he is the most under appreciated actors in Hollywood. No Oscar For Titanic?...BOO! This is a must see movie, and after reading all the other reviews, I wont bore you with the plot, which is not boring! ...more info
  • Quirky with captivating performances
    A PA at work and i have had a raging battle over the last 12 years about our favourite books and films - whilst we tend to agree on books, we disagree on films. And in one of my first film discussions with Jillian 12 years ago i told her this is my favourite film.

    She hadn't seen it, asked who was in the cast and when i told her Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis and Leonardo she rolled her eyes in mortification. And vowed never to watch it. ha ha
    So when I moved offices a few years ago, I gave her a copy in spite.

    She has since seen it and likes it, thought probably not as much as me.

    It was made before Leonardo was recognisable by a single name, and at the time, I believed that Arnie was irrefutably autistic. I don't know if it is a deliberate ploy, but Leonardo seems to focus on the way a charater would use their nose, touch it, lead with it, smell people for reassurance which is so authentic to someone with autism.

    The frailties, humanity, and humour of the charactres are what keeps this film special, the recurring themes of escape, change and death well handled.

    And a final special mention to the mother - as someone just plucked off the street - she is amazing....more info
  • Beautiful Movie with Heartfelt Performances
    What's Eating Gilbert Grape captures the lives and inner struggles of its characters with a rare tenderness and realism, thanks in part to truly shining performances on the part of its cast. Leonardo DiCaprio, in particular, plays to perfection the role of Arnie, a mentally handicapped teenager, immersing himself in the character with stunning talent. The focus of the film is Gilbert (played by Johnny Depp), a young man in an isolated, rural community who suppresses his own hopes and desires out of loyalty to a family he alternately views as a burden and a blessing. His selfless devotion becomes increasingly unbearable when the free-spirited Becky (Juliette Lewis) appears in his life, then prepares to leave the town where Gilbert is anchored. As his lifelong self-denial becomes harder to maintain, Gilbert neglects and lashes out at his younger brother, but his genuine love for his brother remains undying, as does his devotion to his mother, of whom he is sometimes ashamed because of her extreme obesity. Darlene Cates gives a beautiful, heartfelt performance as Bonnie Grape despite the fact she is not a professional actress, perhaps because of her identification with the character (Cates, who weighs 500 pounds, was chosen for the part after her appearance on Sally Jessie Raphael, where she described being imprisoned by her weight). Although Bonnie's weight makes her the laughing stock of the small town, her love for her children prompts her to gather her courage and leave the house for the first time in years after Arnie is taken in by the police for climbing a water tank.

    This is a film laden with unusual sensitivity and remarkable acting, treating its theme with nuance, complexity, and tenderness.
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  • hit a soft spot for me
    i have an autistic family member and a friend's father told me to check this movie out.

    definitely can relate to a lot of things [not as extreme of course but...]. it's a very nice movie. Depp plays it well...nothing on the film deserves a complaint.

    dicaprio is incredible...i really wanted to tell him to shut up because he was so convincing. he was doing a great job....more info
  • Heartfelt Movie
    This is one of my favorite movies. I "personally" connect with this one. I have shown it to all my nieces and nephews and my closes friends. I honestly believe that this movie was VERY underestimated by the industry. Leonardo DiCaprio played his part to perfection. Johnny Depp was good as well. A must see!...more info
  • Whats eating Gilbert Grape
    i love this movie it just shows how great johnny depp and Leonardo Dicaprio are. they both do a great job so you want to watch it over and over...more info
  • Family Bonds Through Adversity
    The moving story of a single mom who's beauty left her long ago, trying to cope with keeping her four children united while dealing with being hugely over weight. Johnny Depp in the title role, is the glue that keeps everyone together as the elder brother. Especially true with his mentally challenged younger brother Arnie, magnificently played to the fullest ability by a very young Leonardo DiCaprio. Before viewing this film years ago, I had never heard of Mr. DiCaprio, and reasoned they surely must have found some talented kid that actually suffered from some mental handicap. His performance is that believable. And Johnny Depp's Gilbert is so likable, one can't help but pull for the fate of the entire family. Thought provoking and heartwarming throughout, but can also be heartbreaking at times....more info
  • The real story
    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a story about real life. It deals with real people, in real situations with real feelings. It tells the story that everyone knows, but won't talk about. A family who loves one another desperatly, but can't seem to find the words to express it. It's not just about any one character in particular, it's about the Family as a whole. Though they may seem disfunctional, they are completly normal and they are about each and every one of us. Each character in this film speaks to someone on a personal level. Those of us who have had a developementally disabled relative, the teenager who is annoyed by everyone and everything, the one who is the "Adult" in the family, the one who takes care of everything and wants to get away but can't, and the relative that is different from most and we try to pretend they don't exisit...at least not to us. Gilbert Grape tells us that we're okay. Everyone is different and that makes each and every one of us special in our own way. Imagine your family for just a moment without the mentally challenged relative, or the quirky teenager exploring the big world ahead of them, or the one that the family pretends doesn't exisit. Your life would be forever changed dramatically without them. It teaches us that we should embrace those people in our lives, love them, qualify their existence, to be a family, because in a moment, they could be gone. Excellent writing and acting by all involved. A classic. A film that will stay with you forever and bring you back often to watch it. =)

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  • Depp, DiCaprio, Glover, Lewis, Reilly, Steenburgen...What Can Go Wrong?
    The 1993 on-screen version of Peter Hedges' quirky novel What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a really fine motion picture to see. Under its surface goings-on What's Eating Gilbert Grape has much to say about guilt, love, duty, family loyalty, and the power of all these things to enslave. Playing the title character, Johnny Depp is expectedly superb with his restrained, sensitive performance as a good-hearted, overburdened young man struggling to be all things to too many people, and long before Titanic, a then little known Leonardo DiCaprio proved his acting skills as Depp's risk-taking retarded younger brother, Arnie. (So adept at acting was DiCaprio here that I can remember people asking if "that kid from Growing Pains" really was retarded.)

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a thoughtful movie. As what remains of his youth drifts toward conclusion and life seems in danger of passing him by, Gilbert Grape lives his days in a static prairie town, working for a corner grocery, overseeing his sisters, his mentally disabled brother, and his mother, who is shut-in by her disfiguring obesity. Grape feels obligated to take on many roles, breadwinner, dutiful son, loyal employee, and he does all this so thoroughly that there is no space in his own existence for himself. At times Grape allows his imagination to wander and he dreams of moving on and finding a place in the outer world, but always he feels the tug of what holds him behind. When one day a whim of fate brings the girl of his dreams into town, Grape is finally forced to confront the roles he plays for others: and Grape's decision will probably surprise many.

    As it flows through its deliberately-paced run-time What's Eating Gilbert Grape becomes like a river that alters its channel several times before reaching its destination, and the events that transpire between its opening and ending have the power to shock and sadden, but also make you feel like cheering. There just aren't too many movies out there like this one, and that's part of why so many have found it so special.
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  • What's eating Gilbert Grape?
    One of Johnny Depp's best. Leonardo DeCaprio in what be his first film does a great job portraying the retarded younger brother. He did it without being offensive or stereotyping the role. I enjoyed it and my seller had it delivered sooner than promised. ...more info
  • Johnny Depp in top form
    Very enjoyable movie even though the story is sad in a sense. Depp is stuck at home taking care of his mother and brother (Leonardo, who also is fantastic) and dreams of leaving but knows he can't. I'm no movie critic so no in depth review here. All I know is I liked the movie a lot and will watch it again. I give four stars only because five stars are for the very best. Just watch it and see for yourself....more info
  • Excellent Edition**GET IT** See the "greats" before they became so!
    What is now so wonderful about revisiting WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE after several years, is to see multi nominated Oscar performers Johnny Depp,Leonardo DiCaprio and Juliette Lewis when they were on their road to stardom.WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE? is one of those incredible ensemble acting pieces that required JUST the right kind of actors.It is interesting to note that Depp,DiCaprio and Lewis have all, at one time, been listed as Hollywood's "most intriguing actors"!.This, to me, lies the greatness and the heart of this touching 1993 look at confused,repressed and quirky people in a dead Texas town called Endora! Take my favorite director Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules (Miramax Collector's Series),Casanova) and Oscar winning screenplay writer Peter Hedges (About a Boy (Widescreen Edition), and Pieces of April...he always writes, with great tenderness, very conflicted characters!), and VOILA, you have a look back in time when the "great ones" were still yet to reach their pinnacle of success!GILBERT GRAPE has ALL the earmarks of that greatness to come.
    First off, if you have no patience with intimate films that have deliberate character development and no action, you may want to pass.If you relish great acting and a rising action story line, then read on!
    Gilbert is the second son of five on whom his entire family hangs! The oldest son flew the coup, the father committed suicide, the mother is a depressed obese and, the youngest son is a retarded boy who was not supposed to live, and the two sisters seem to have their own issues in life.Gilbert (expertly crafted by Depp) is the model of restraint and co-dependent behaviour as he cares for all of his family.But what is eating at Gilbert? He should be exploding any minute, but his feelings seem so repressed as he runs after his younger brother (DiCaprio- who received an Oscar nom),helps to deal with his Mother's depression and 500 pound+ obesity and also work in a dead end job as a grocery store stock boy.In fact, the only sign that Gilbert has any life in him, is when he delivers groceries to an older and married housewife (Oscar winner Mary Steenburgen,as only she could deliver this performance!)where Gilbert finds himself somewhat entrapped,but afraid to let go.Enter Becky, a passer-through Airstream trailer girl whose rig breaks down in Endora.It is this relationship that awakens Gilbert and the rest of the family to confront all of the repressed and suppressed feelings as a family that somehow functions.Every performance in this film is A+ and should be viewed for the quality of acting and adeptness at direction and screenplay.
    The Special Edition has wonderful interviews with the cast and director that give perspective of people who can now look back at the film and examine it with fresh perspective.One of the best Special Editions on DVD and well worth the $$$....more info
  • Unpredictable DiCaprio
    One of these films that are an essential step in the career of an actor. It was true for Leonardo DiCaprio who got his first Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for the role of a differently-abled kid . It is true he does a good job in that part and he is a brilliant couple with Johnny Depp as his bigger brother. The film is entertaining though on many other levels. The survival of a small town in the US at a time when big shopping malls are opening everywhere. These small towns are doomed to die sooner or later. Their only chance is to become suburban development projects and become the home of people working in the big city next door who want to live away from the hectic activity of the city and commute there every day. We are before this development in Endora. The second interest is the fate of a family in which there is a mentally disabled child. Here they have no opportunity to provide him with an education and some professional activity. So he is more or less attached to a member of his family and he is haunting if not even worse that brother of his, as well as the police and neighbors. It is never vicious but it is really bothering those who want to have peace and quiet. The place of mentally disabled people in our society is something difficult to envisage because they are necessarily a burden to normative people and a normative system that has to adapt to them and not the reverse. Today things have changed a lot, thanks to such films probably, definitely. Then the film attaches itself to showing the mother who is an extremely obese person, her shame, her humiliation, her lot that is close to an ordeal. The film shows how dependent she is on her own family, on her own children, the father having died a long time before. And the film tries to show her under the best light they can afford. On her disabled son's birthday, after having accepted to be introduced to her elder son's girl friend (a young woman who had to stop in Endora with her mother and their travelling bus for a couple of weeks because of the breakdown of the car they travel in), after climbing back up to the second floor bedroom of the house for the first time in many years and lying there on her back, she dies without any kind of pain or noise with her disabled son calling for her to wake up. The film though has a strange ending. The children decide to burn her in the house since she cannot be taken down. A domestic pyre for the mother and a complete liberation for the children who are scattered away now they are homeless. The burial of old civilizations, of the Hinduist tradition. Amazing. And yet it is not the end. A last scene shows how the elder brother is recuperated by his girlfriend who comes back to pick him up and away from Endora and by picking one she gets two because the disabled brother comes along too. That's what happens when a mechanical incident forces you to stop over in a lost village in the countryside for a couple of weeks. You get trapped in some kind of sentimental cage like the disabled brother's crickets in his glass jar where he raises them. A good decent softly entertaining film.

    Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
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  • what's eating gilbert grapr
    Excellent movie good acting and plot. Movie arived in excellent condition...more info
    A perfect presentation of the effects of rural poverty, ignorance, and social injustice. Lead star Depp is cast as the caretaker of a rundown house, a mother who's given up all hope, a cranky sister, and a 12 year old brother with the I.Q. of a 4 year old. Add to this mix Depp's holding a job, trying to find an appropriate girlfriend, and attempting to fend off an unhappily married female, and one has all the ingredients for a walking powder keg. Particularly troubling is Depp's younger brother, brilliantly portrayed by Leo DiCaprio, whose main hobbies include running away, climbing trees, and attempting to scale the town watertower. This is a view of Americana that many deny even exists; yet is possibly as prevalent as better known inner city dilemmas. Think poverty knows boundary lines? Indeed, the most uplifting scene occurs in the finale- the group moving away, hopefully for the better, almost certainly better for Gilbert Grape....more info
  • The Collector's Edition of What's Eating Gilbert Grape is certainly worth buying
    I debated on whether to buy this DVD as I already had one of the original Gilbert Grapes I think this one was done in 2006. I am so glad I did it is well worth it. The extra's are great just to hear Johnny talk about it is enough, then you hear from Darlene and Mary. The directors commentary along with Peter Hedgers is really good. I hadn't read the book so hearing the author talking about the book along with the movie is very informative. Neither Lasse nor Peter had seen the movie in years so it was really fun to watch it with them...buy it....more info
  • DiCaprio astounding in this
    When I first saw this sweet and unpretentious little slice-of-life film, I was impressed by its quirky appeal, but, because I had no idea at the time who Leo DiCaprio was yet, I'd assumed that they'd hired a little mentally challeged kid who could read lines--- I had NO IDEA it was just a "regular" actor.

    Wow. And Depp is pretty good too....more info
  • Never go full retard
    Nobody gets eaten in this movie?!

    I watched this with my wife, waiting for some cannibals to chow down on Gilbert Grape. No such luck. No gore whatsoever? No murders, explosions, car chases, or wild stunts either.
    This is a nice slice of Americana. Movies rarely do half as well at giving a glimpse at real life in America.

    Depp does an excellent job in a James Dean type role--the charismatic, brooding young flyboy that is stuck in a little one horse town. He takes care of his half-retarded brother, played with natural precision by Leonardo DiCaprio. Juliette Lewis tones down her dysfunctional persona and turns in a stellar performance as the girlfriend.

    This movie has no real plot, the family just prepares for the son's big 18th birthday party. I had almost forgotten what a normal, coming of age movie was like. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed it....more info
  • Titanic
    Have I seen this movie 5 times? I think so, although every time I watch it, it looks as fresh and vital as the first. Today I watched the scene when big mother comes down to the station to pick up her boy. It is a powerful, magnificent scene, riveling in my view the bathroom scene between Burgess Meredith and Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky." Many will praise Johnny Depp, but my eye has always been on young Leo. Depp is pretty and all, so the book makers were obviously right to bet on him, but it is Leo who turns in the great performance. It is incredible. Curiously he hasn't changed all that much. He is THE great talent of his generation, very badly cast in masculine roles that call for boxing and tough guy stuff, for which he is ill suited. He retains to this day his youthful innocence that made him so appealing to the girls in "Titanic." He is no tough guy, though, and always seems weak and ill at ease in Scorsese films. He is a bit like Monty Clift, although many felt that Monty held his own against John Wayne. Come to think of it, Leo may not be the actor Monty was, after all he has done no stage work. Still, he is brilliant on screen as evidenced by this magnificent performance, in a film that should be esteemed a classic. ...more info
  • What's Eating Gilbert Grape
    This was a great movie! Critics reviewed this as "wonderfully original" and I agree. Johnny Depp has such a wide variety of acting abilities and this is definitely no exception. Leonardo DiCaprio did a wonderful portrial of a mentally handicapped young man - very impressive. What a story! Probably not the ending that you would expect....more info