Year of Release: 1993
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Stars: Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenurgen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Darlene Cates, Laura Harrington, Mark Kate Schellhardt, Kevin Tighe, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Penelope Branning, Tim Green
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Lasse Hallstrom has always been at his best when he captures the anguish of young protagonists who want to break free from the constraints they suffer (as can be seen in his later films, such as "The Cider House Rules"). "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" successfully captures the mood and environment of living in a small town, where the opportunities to grow and experience life are limited, something that the central character realizes. Gilbert is a young man who longs for more, but knows his family life prevents him from truly experiencing more from life - the presence of Becky is a catalyst for everything he's always wanted. Lasse Hallstrom successfully captures these fantastic performances: Johnny Depp as the sweet Gilbert, Juliette Lewis as the radiant Becky and particularly Leonardo Di Caprio as Arnie, who is truly phenomenal in his composition of the disabled and ingenious character. The cinematography from Sven Nykvist is equally stunning. A beautiful film worth watching!