What's Eating Gilbert Grape

What's Eating Gilbert Grape ★★★★

What's Eating Gilbert Grape could easily be a saccharine and emotionally manipulative mess, but director Lasse Hallström tackles the topics of familial drama, mental illness, and searching for self with subtle insight and complete control. It's nothing groundbreaking, but Hallström makes the film a moving cinematic experience.

What shines the brightest here are the performances. Johnny Depp is a typically reliable lead, and he gives another great performance here as the overwhelmed and conflicted caregiver for his family. But the true highlight of the film is Leo DiCaprio. Leo gives perhaps the greatest performance of his career as the mentally ill younger brother of Depp's Gilbert Grape. He puts so much into the film, and it's really incredible to watch. Such a powerful performance.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape is an entertaining and surprisingly moving experience. It's not perfect, but the superb cast helps make it a truly great film.

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