What's Eating Gilbert Grape

DVD Rating: ****1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of What's Eating Gilbert Grape
What's Eating Gilbert Grape

The interviews are artistically presented in boxed segments - to diguise their paucity of content? Recorded at the time, before the concept of DVD extras existed, they have an historical interest and a refreshing unpretentiousness.

Juliette Lewis, whom Lasse Hallstrom insisted upon for the role of Beccy, after being "stunned by the authenticity of her performance" in Cape Fear, says unselfconciously, "I just like the work," adding, "I've only just started. I have a long way to go." The following year she made Natural Born Killers.

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Johnny Depp is typically modest and self-depreciating, talking about Gilbert's character and his need "to make himself kind of numb," not being drawn on personal matters. He loves the book, yet understands that in movies "you lose a lot," something he regrets, obviously.

Leonardo DiCaprio is given less time than the others, which is disappointing, because, as Lewis says, "Leo is extraordinary; he's going to go far." She was right about that. He talks for a moment about how Hallstrom took him to a home for mentally retarded children. "There was one kid, who was autistic and I used a lot from him."

Hallstrom, Darlene Cates who plays Momma and a young looking Peter Hedges complete the interviews. It's all a bit thin, although never false. There is a delightful air of innocence abroad, as when Hallstrom, with a big grin, says, "Who's Gilbert Grape? It's me!"

Reviewed on: 28 Mar 2004
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The eccentricity of a one parent family, living in a wooden house, near a small town in Texas.
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Product Code: EDV9186

Region: 2

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: Cast and crew interviews; trailer

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