A weekly update of film releases


Mostly his unusual family, which includes a mentally disabled brother and an extremely obese mother who hasn't been out of the house for seven years. Gilbert loves them but finds it difficult to grow up as an ordinary young man while coping with their special needs. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who captivated many moviegoers with ``My Life as a Dog'' a few seasons ago, this offbeat comedy-drama can't decide whether it wants to pull our heartstrings with sentimental romance or befuddle our brains with gothic twists and turns. It serves up a lot of excellent acting, though, especially by its two male leads. Johnny Depp brings the title character to vivid life in his first truly mature performance, and Leonardo DiCaprio, who appeared in ``This Boy's Life'' recently, is positively miraculous as his troubled brother. Mary Steenburgen, the busy Juliette Lewis, the irrepressible Crispin Glover, and newcomer Darlene Cates also make strong impressions. The exquisite images of Iowa were photographed by the legendary Sven Nykvist. (Rated PG-13)

* WRESTLING ERNEST HEMINGWAY - Two irascible old men, an Irish boat captain and a Cuban barber, meet in the sleepy Florida town where they've retired and become curmudgeonly pals. The screenplay by first-time scenarist Steve Conrad isn't clever or original enough to give the lovable-old-codger genre a new lease on life. But the performances by Richard Harris and Robert Duvall are as virtuosic as you'd expect, and Randa Haines has directed the tale with sturdy intelligence, investing its well-worn ideas with dignity and conviction. Shirley MacLaine and Piper Laurie head the well-chosen supporting cast, and Sandra Bullock is especially charming as the heroes' youngest friend. Lajos Koltai did the rich-looking cinematography. (Rated PG-13)

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.