Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Effective Acting

I'm a bit in my cups and am rewatching What's Eating Gilbert Grape which has always been a favorite of mine. It's a film I bring up constantly when people try to trash Leonardo DiCaprio as an actor. Of all his roles, his portrayal of Arnie Grape is the most honest and believable role of most movies I've ever seen. In my senior year of high school, I used to hand out announcements every other day with a boy with mental retardation (mental handicap? cognitively challenged?) and I also have a cousin that is rather high-functioning. DiCaprio's portrayal of Arnie reminds me of the boy from high school: not able to live independently, developmentally stuck at a very young age. The squeals, physical tics, picking and scratching at hair, the little things, down to the almost spasm-like gestures of hands is so effective, it's almost like watching an actual person with MR on the screen. It had to be an incredibly challenging role to play, and I respect his attention to detail immensely (especially for someone who was only 19 at the time the film was made). So yeah, he's done some movies that were shitty, but he sorry, folks, he's got his acting chops, and this is proof.

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