CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

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: Eliza Dushku, Ellen Barkin, Jonah Blechman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Cooper, Robert De Niro
  • 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 Win Win

    Win Win

    Paul Giamatti stars as a struggling lawyer and volunteer wrestling coach who takes in his client's troubled grandson

  • Film4 The Drop

    The Drop

    Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace star in a feature-length adaptation of a short crime story by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island), directed by Belgian filmmaker Michael R. Roskam (Bullhead)

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o