Available for the first time ever on Blu-ray, this tender drama was directed by Lasse Hallström and stars Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Juliette Lewis. Co-stars include Mary Steenburgen, John C. Reilly and Crispin Glover.
In a backwater Iowa Town, Gilbert (Johnny Depp) struggles to take care of his mentally disabled brother, Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), and provide for the rest of the family. But after falling for the stranded Becky (Juliette Lewis), Gilbert discovers exciting new possibilities for his life.
Peter Hedges wrote the novel and screenplay for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, it launched his film career and he went on to write the screenplay for About a Boy for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.
Director Lasse Hallström started out by directing ABBA’s music videos (he directed the majority between 1974 and 1982), he subsequently went on to direct My Life as a Dog (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director), The Cider House Rules and Chocolat.
19-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio received nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. It was the first time he was ever nominated at the Oscars.
Darlene Cates who plays Gilbert’s housebound mother had never acted professionally before being cast in the film. Hedges spotted her on an episode of American tabloid talk show Sally Jessy Raphael entitled “Too Heavy to Leave Their House” on which she discussed her struggles with her weight.
Despite positive reviews and DiCaprio’s Oscar nomination the film’s uninspired marketing campaign saw it being marginalized as “quirky” and it only grossed $10 million when released in 1993. However Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 90% “Certified Fresh” rating with an 89% audience score.
Extras: Theatrical Trailer.