What’s Eating Gilbert Grape DVD

Directed by: Lasse Hallström. Starring: Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Mary Steenburgen.

Johnny Depp in What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Synopsis: Depp plays Gilbert Grape, the oldest brother in a family that includes two sisters, a mentally impaired younger brother (DiCaprio), and a grossly obese mother. (Dad is AWOL.) The children generally have to parent themselves, and to Gilbert in particular falls the task of caring for Arnie. Gilbert doesn’t seem to question his lot in life until a young woman and her aunt get stuck in his small town.

Sample quote: “I never meant to get like this. I never wanted to be a joke.” — Mama

Comment: This little-known movie is one of Depp’s best. The characters are compelling,the acting (with the unfortunate exception of Lewis) is superlative, and the family dynamics are fascinating. Just an excellent drama about real people. Rating: ****

The Extras: Very limited—just the trailer. But really, the movie is all you need in this case.

Usability: Not a problem, since the DVD does contain so little extra material.

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