Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Biography, Drama
  • 1993
  • 115 mins

This Boy's Life

Film4 This Boy's Life

Synopsis

A rites of passage drama set in backcountry Washington state, featuring an early star turn from Leonardo DiCaprio. Also stars Robert DeNiro

About

Long before Leonardo DiCaprio achieved his pin-up status through films such as William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet and Titanic, he was making small and interesting movies like this, an excellent adaptation of Tobias Wolff's autobiographical novel in which he very nearly out-acts Robert DeNiro.

It's set in the 1950s, the Pacific Northwest of the USA. DiCaprio plays the author, a troubled teenager who mixes with the wrong crowd, while De Niro is Dwight, the alcoholic, abusive stepfather he longs to escape, and Barkin provides strong support as Caroline, his long-suffering mother who came west to escape earlier abusive boyfriends.

Comparable to Stand By Me in its vision of 1950s America, this avoids wholesome cliches and instead shows that difficulty and dysfuntion are universal.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Chris Cooper, Robert De Niro, Eliza Dushku, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Blechman, Ellen Barkin
  • Director: Michael Caton-Jones
  • Writer: Robert Getchell
  • Producer: Art Linson
  • Photographer: David Watkin
  • Composer: Carter Burwell

In a nutshell

Robert DeNiro and Ellen Barkin are reliable in this atmospheric drama, but it's the young Leonardo DiCaprio who really shines.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    About Elly

    Taraneh Alidoosti stars in a gripping, award-winning mystery-thriller from Oscar-winning Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi.

  • Film4

    Odd Thomas

    Anton Yelchin stars in Stephen Sommers' charged adaptation of Dean Koontz's supernatural novel.

  • Film4

    Action Month 2016 on Film4

    A whole month of action favourites every night at 9.00pm throughout June.

  • Film4

    Kick-Ass 2 on Film4

    Jim Carrey, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloƫ Grace Moretz star in Film4's first play of the darkly comic sequel to Kick-Ass.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Five questions for Jim Gillespie

    We grabbed five minutes with Jim Gillespie after his Edinburgh International Film Festival directing masterclass to put five burning questions to the man behind I Know What You Did Last Summer, whose

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Clio Barnard's Dark River starts shooting

    Principal photography has commenced on Dark River, the third feature film from writer/director Clio Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant), starring Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Saving Mr Banks), Mark Sta

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share