What’s Eating Gilbert Grape


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 feelings, new thoughts and new hope for the put upon Gibert, something new is eating Gilbert Grape.

What people are saying:

“This movie left me with a lot of conflicting emotions. Johnny Depp was superb, as always. And a young Leo, was also very incredible in what had to be a difficult role for him. Sometimes, it was so hard to sympathize with the Arnie character, because he was such an incredible handful, that I simply felt so sorry for Gilbert having to be his primary caregiver. He was just a young man himself, and had SO much responsibility! But he handled it with grace, most of the time, which proved his integrity. And I think anyone living in those conditions, with that family dynamic, and a special needs sibling/child, to take care of, might freaking snap one day. I was shocked he didn’t snap sooner! I was both angry at the mother, and felt sorry for her. In fact, I felt that way about almost all the characters, except Gilbert, whom I was never mad at. But the end was fitting, and it gave a glimmer of hope and happiness, that these people deserved. Wonderful movie. I can’t believe I waited ALL this time to actually watch this.” 4 stars

“The performances were brilliant from the leading actors, however, I had to force myself to give it a chance and watch to the end. The lack of plot unfortunately makes the film become quite boring and I struggled to remain interested or invested in the characters; in spite of the stellar acting.” 3 stars

“A well told story; however, not the story I really wanted to see. Acting and directing are fine but there is no plot and it surely doesn’t thicken as the movie progresses. I can’t understand why there is so much love for this movie. There are a lot of other movies out there that are MUCH better.” 2 stars

“Like others, I may have to buy this movie. As someone with a mentally handicapped brother, this rang so true. DiCaprio was dead-on with portraying behavior that was innocent and endearing yet highly annoying. And Depp was wonderful as he struggled with his conflicting emotions of being burdened by and yet deeply caring for his brother, and the pain of having to choose between his responsibility for his brother and his responsibility for himself. And yet, with all this weighty material, this movie provided laughs as well. Highly recommended.” 5 stars

“A beautiful, powerful film which takes you through many different emotions. Johnny Depp is brilliant as Gilbert Grape who demonstrates true devotion and care towards his brother Arnie who is mentally challenged. You can feel the love he has for him and it touches one’s soul. Leonardo DiCaprio gives an excellent portrayal of Arnie Grape. He plays the character convincingly and manages to keep it subtle and realistic. Having a mentally challenged son myself, I felt I could relate, especially in the part where Gilbert looses his patience. You can feel the frustration then followed by the gilt. Overall, the acting is strong and the story feels real. I cried almost the whole way through. This is a film that needs to be experienced by everyone.”


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