Presented by Denise Widman
(1993) "What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Darlene Cates and Leonardo DiCaprio; cinematography by Sven Nykist. The film follows 24-year-old Gilbert (Depp), a grocery store clerk caring for his morbidly obese mother and mentally impaired younger brother in a sleepy Midwestern town. Peter Hedges wrote the screenplay, adapted from his 1991 novel of the same name. The film was well-received; young DiCaprio received his first Academy Award nomination for his role.
"Grape’s “gentle rueful style accommodates a vast amount of quirkiness in enchanting ways” (Janet Maslin). The story is a character portrayal of a family stuck in what appears to be the banality of everyday life; yet, there are deep family complexities which are imbued with dedication and resolve. In addition, although filmed in the 1990s, perhaps there are comparisons to today’s political environment…" - D.W.