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What's Eating Gilbert Grape

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Darlene Cates, and Leonardo DiCaprio. The film follows 24-year-old Gilbert (Depp), a grocery store clerk caring for his morbidly obese mother (Cates) and his mentally impaired younger brother (DiCaprio) in a sleepy Midwestern town. Peter Hedges wrote the screenplay, based on his 1991 novel of the same name. The film was well-received; 19-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio received his first Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for his supporting role.

Plot

In the small town of Endora, Iowa, Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) is busy caring for Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), his mentally impaired brother who is turning 18, as they wait for the many tourists' trailers to pass through town during an annual Airstreamers' Club gathering at a nearby recreational area. His father had hanged himself seven years earlier, and since then his mother, Bonnie (Darlene Cates), has spent most of her days on the couch watching TV and eating. With Bonnie's morbid obesity leaving her unable to care for her children on her own, Gilbert has taken responsibility for repairing the old house and being protective to Arnie, who has a habit of climbing the town water tower, while his sisters Amy (Laura Harrington) and Ellen (Mary Kate Schellhardt) do the rest. A new FoodLand supermarket has opened, threatening the small Lamson's Grocery where Gilbert works. In addition, Gilbert is having an affair with a married woman, Betty Carver (Mary Steenburgen).