DiCaprio is compelling in this movie, but I believe that this is Depps best. He's no Jack Sparrow in this one, just a gentle-spirited brother and son who deeply cares about his family's welfare. I became a fan of Juliette Lewis from her part in this movie. If you like romance, you'll love the connection between these two. Fantastic movie all around!
It really doesn't matter what Leonardo DiCaprio does after this movie. He will always have my respect as an actor because of his protrayal of the mentally challenged brother in this movie. I saw it when it first came out and before he was a known actor. He is brilliant here. No matter what you think of "Titanic" and his role in it, this movie shows his full potential. The mother is not an actor and is a bit stiff. Johnny Depp plays a compelling but low profile main character. DiCaprio steals the show.
This would have been such an interesting, lovely little movie about a compellingly idiosyncratic family if only the blah love interest had been trimmed. Juliette Lewis's character is the major sour note in this otherwise quirky little movie. But the interactions of Gilbert with his offbeat family and friends are wonderful.
I would have to agree with the three bone rating for this one. When I first saw this movie I had never heard of DiCaprio and seeing him on the screen it warmed my heart to know they gave a significant roll to a "challenged" actor. Come to find out he is not challenged at all which made it better and worse for me. Good performance on his part but why not give the roll to Corky from "Life Goes On"?