Watch Movie The “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” This Weekend On Amazon Prime

Published on January 9th, 2019

After his father’s death, Gilbert has to care for his mentally-disabled brother, Arnie, and his morbidly obese mother. This situation is suddenly challenged though, when love unexpectedly walks into his life.

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.

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Movie Reviews: “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Movie Review: Entertainment Weekly

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Photographed with a beautiful, soft-edged nostalgia for rustic American landscapes, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape strikes an unlikely mood of morose whimsy. Instead of milking Gilbert’s family crises for dysfunctional farce, the director, Swedish-born Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog, Once Around), understates and humanizes the material.

Hallstrom’s touch is disarmingly gentle; he has made a comedy as gossamer as a butterfly’s wings, one that stares at its characters with ironic affection. Yet, like its hero, the movie stares a little too much. Gilbert Grape is sweet and occasionally touching but also wan and remote. It tweaks your sympathies without ever firing your endorphins.

Despite Depp’s tender melancholy, the performers who stay with you are those who dare to crack the surface of their characters’ alienation. As the morbidly fat Momma, Darlene Cates, far from turning herself into a waddling one-liner, calls up reserves of regret, shame, and emotional prickliness; she evokes all the testy overweight people stuffed into armchairs across Middle America.

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Movie Review: Newsweek

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

“Heaven and Earth” comes at you in angry flurries: whatever ghastly indignity Le Ly (Hiep Thi Le) or anyone in her family endured, Stone’s camera won’t miss a queasy detail–her protracted torture by the South Vietnamese, her rape by a Viet Cong officer. This is powerful stuff (as the overbearing Kitaro score reminds you) but it yields diminishing returns. As her saga leaps over the years and continents, Stone loses his grip on a great, harrowing story, Years pass in the blink of an eye. She’s the servant in a rich man’s house, a peddler of cigarettes to GIs, a bar hostess, a prostitute, a mother.

Children appear who are barely accounted for. In San Diego, where she becomes a successful entrepreneur, the doting husband (Tommy Lee Jones) she met in Nam goes psyche and kidnaps her children. There’s enough material here for a miniseries. Crunched into 2 1/4 hours of spasmodic narrative, Le Ly’s extraordinary life is reduced to its lurid highlights. Stone’s so eager to get to the good stuff (i.e. the bad stuff) that the movie plays like the longest coming-attractions trailer ever made.

Some of the parts are undeniably gripping; what gets lost are the characters themselves. Jones’s now charming, now desperate, now cuckoo soldier barely makes sense, and for good reason–he’s a composite of four different men in Hayslip’s books. Hiep makes an assured debut, but Stone’s script never discovers the real woman behind the symbolic martyr. In the end, back in Vietnam, we know what has happened to Le Ly, but we don’t who she is. Nor, one suspects, does Stone.

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Movie Review: Chicago Reader

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Even if you have a taste as I do for movies about dysfunctional families, you may be a little put off by the Grapes in this 1993 adaptation by Peter Hedges of his own novel: no father, 500-pound mother, mentally disabled son (especially good work by Leonardo DiCaprio), and two daughters, as well as Johnny Depp to more or less hold things together. This is directed by Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog), and his feeling for the look and mood of a godforsaken midwestern town is often as acute as Sven Nykvist’s cinematography.

Juliette Lewis plays the out-of-town girl Depp takes a shine to once he starts getting tired of the married woman (Mary Steenburgen) he’s involved with, and while the picture is too absentminded to explain what it is that makes Lewis move in and out of town, she and Depp make a swell couple. There are other rough edges as far as plot is concerned, but I liked this. With Darlene Cates, Laura Harrington, Mary Kate Schellhardt, Kevin Tighe, and Crispin Glover.

For Full Movie Review, Click Here.


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