What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

In my last movie post for The Shawshank Redemption (1994), I mentioned a list of my favorite (male) actors. And here we have two of them: Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio, starring as Gilbert Grape and Arnie Grape, respectively. Going into the movie, I knew it was well-known, but I didn't know what it was about. In fact, up until watching the movie, I didn't know Depp was in the movie, let alone being the lead role.

However, between the two, DiCaprio's role stood out, because of how he was able to portray a mentally disabled person. Of course, Depp's acting is his usual excellence. While not as dark as Edward Scissorhands (1990) and not as comical as Don Juan DeMarco (1994), What's Eating Gilbert Grape uses the typical Johnny Depp character. Note that Depp's career grew starting with his role in "21 Jump Street" (1987-1990). Getting back to DiCaprio, this film would be his film debut.

Excellent film. Should definitely be watched for DiCaprio's performance.

20130804, 20130805:
Watching this movie again was a real joy. Having forgotten the majority of the plot, I felt like I had a better understanding of the movie this time around. While rough around the edges, I find the movie does a great job of bringing about empathy for each of the Grape family members.

For example, while Gilbert (Depp) sometimes acts out, his actions show how much he cares for his family. Furthermore, there's a scene where Becky (Juliette Lewis) asks Gilbert to quickly name the things he'd want in his life and he selflessly names off benefits he'd like for his other family members.

Apparently Juliette Lewis, the actress who played Gilbert's romantic interest, has been in several other films, two of which I've seen: Starsky and Hutch (2004) and Whip It (2009). I don't remember her role in the former, but in the latter she had a fairly big role as the Iron Maven, captain of a roller derby team rivaling the one Ellen Page joins. In any case, Lewis looks much different with her hair short.

Instant Comments:
2: Aww. "Goodbye." "No, it's not goodbye Arnie." "Goodnight. Goodnight to you but not to me."
2: There was a little bit of movement, but I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.
2=20130804, 20130805

Watched 20100722 (Netflix, Instant) 117 min
Watched 1st half 20130804 (Netflix, Instant)
Watched 2nd half 20130805 (Netflix, Instant)
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) Lasse Hallström. 118 min [botnotsn (1991) by Peter Hedges]

Relevant Links:
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (Wikipedia.org)
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (IMDb.com)
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (RottenTomatoes.com)


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