What's Eating Gibert Grape is a beautifully shot movie of tenderness, caring and self-awareness that is set amongst the fictional working class one street town Endora. Centred around the Grape family Ellen and Amy and their two brothers Arnie and Gilbert, who, along with their morbidly obese widowed mother Bonnie Grape are striving to survive and coexist with the absence of a father figure, low wage work and seventeen-year-old Arnie's severe mental condition. It is in this awkward and extremely one sided affair that the unfortunate Gilbert has to constantly, while working for the town's slowly dying convenience store, take care of his younger brother Arnie. Gilbert's life, his future, is thwarted he knows this, but it is in this guardian angel that his love and bond for Arnie cannot, and will not, be let go. That is until the free spirit of Becky arrives in town, and with her grandmother are stranded for the week while waiting for parts for their vehicle. This realization unties new ...Written by
When getting into character, Leonardo DiCaprio remarked of it, "I had to really research to get into the mind of somebody like that. I spent a few days at a home for mentally unstable teens. We just talked and I watched their mannerisms. People have these expectations that mentally retarded children are really crazy, but that isn't so. It's refreshing to see them, because everything's so new to them." See more »
When the mother comes out of the jailhouse a bounce card (light reflector) is visible. See more »
I saw this movie a couple of years ago and have seen it many times since. I have worked with special needs children for nearly 20 years, and Leonardo DiCaprio gives an excellent performance as a mentally challenged teenager. His mannerisms and vocal inflection as Arnie were dead on. I had never been a DiCaprio fan until I watched this movie, now I see him in a completely different light. He SO deserved an Oscar for this performance. It puts that whole Dustin Hoffman/Rainman performance to shame.
Beyond this outstanding performance is an incredible movie. What is eating Gilbert Grape indeed? Oh, just a loony housewife that wants him at every turn, a mother who requires as much care as a child and a mentally challenged brother who requires almost as much care as a toddler. What is not eating him alive is a better question. The anger culminates in a harsh scene with Arnie. That scene is so real it tears my heart out.
Fabulous film, fantastic performances. One of my favorites.
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