This Boy’s Life

HE LOOKED LIKE THE IDEAL HUSBAND. HE SEEMED LIKE THE PERFECT FATHER. THAT’S JUST WHAT THEY NEEDED. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT THEY GOT.

thisboyslifeCaroline Wolff (Ellen Barkin) and her teenage son (Leonardo DiCaprio) move to Concrete, Washington where she marries a car mechanic (Robert De Niro)… but he turns out to be a hard-drinking brute. Hollywood has churned out plenty of these reality-based films that are set a few decades ago and usually portray a teenage boy growing up in a troubled family and learning about life the hard way. This one features a kid who needs a father, and a bully who can’t stand the idea of his stepson actually accomplishing something. Not terribly original, but the cast is fine, especially DiCaprio.

1993-U.S. 115 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Michael Caton-Jones. Screenplay: Robert Getchell. Novel: Tobias Wolff. Cast: Robert De Niro (Dwight Hansen), Ellen Barkin (Caroline Wolff), Leonardo DiCaprio (Toby ”Jack” Wolff), Jonah Blechman, Eliza Dushku, Chris Cooper… Carla Gugino, Tobey Maguire.

Trivia: Debra Winger was allegedly considered for the part of Caroline; Maguire originally auditioned for the part of Toby.

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