Brian Cates @[email protected] So if Thomas' theory about Trump being a 'shadow' President doesn't happen, Trump will have positioned himself for a 2nd term from 2025-2029 in which the conservative base has control of key battlegrounds, including the ones that Democrats & that shadowy cabal took key advantage of in 2020. Gilbert Grape is more or less equal to these challenges, but life is not easy for him. What helps is the small town itself. In a big city, we sense, the Grape family would be isolated and dysfunctional, but in Endora, where everybody knows everybody and Gilbert fits right in, life is more possible, and the family is at least quasifunctional. Brian Cates boosted Dec 4, 2020 Saul M. Montes-Bradley II @[email protected] Two years ago, it was clear as a bell.
Gilbert Grape is more or less equal to these challenges, but life is not easy for him. What helps is the small town itself. In a big city, we sense, the Grape family would be isolated and dysfunctional, but in Endora, where everybody knows everybody and Gilbert fits right in, life is more possible, and the family is at least quasifunctional.
'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' makes of these materials one of the most enchanting movies of the year, a story of people who aren't misfits only because they don't see themselves that way. Nor does the film take them with tragic seriousness; it is a problem, yes, to have a retarded younger brother.
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And it is a problem to have a mother so fat she never leaves the house. But when kids from the neighborhood sneak around to peek at the fat lady in the living room, Gilbert sometimes gives them a boost up to the window. What the hell.
The movie, written by Peter Hedges and based on his novel, has been directed by a Scandinavian, Lasse Hallstrom, for whom families seem to exert a special pull. His credits include 'My Life as a Dog' (1985), about a young boy's coming of age amid eccentric Swedish rural people and first love; and the underrated 1991 film 'Once Around,' in which Richard Dreyfuss married into a family that was appalled by his abrasiveness.
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The special quality of 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' is not its oddness, however, but its warmth. Johnny Depp, as Gilbert, has specialized in playing outsiders ('Edward Scissorhands,' 'Benny and Joon'), and here he brings a quiet, gentle sweetness that suffuses the whole film. Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Arnie, the retarded kid brother, has been nominated for an Academy Award, and deserves it.
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His performance succeeds in being both convincing and likable. We can see both why he's almost impossible to life with, and why Gilbert and the rest of the Grapes choose to, with love.