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

    Grand Piano

    Concert pianist Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is about to put on the show of his life: if he plays one wrong note at his comeback gig, a sniper in the upper circle will execute his wife

  • Film4 Neighbouring Sounds

    Neighbouring Sounds

    Life in a middle-class Brazilian neighbourhood changes upon the arrival of an independent private security firm hired to guard the surrounding area

    On Film4: 23 Sep 11:10PM

  • Film4 Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Wheels In Motion Season On Film4

    It's a parade of motorcycles, trains and automobiles on Film4 as the Wheels In Motion Season gets rolling

  • Film4 The Moo Man

    The Moo Man On Film4

    Director Andy Heathcote tells the story of a farmer (Stephen Hook) and his cows on an organic dairy farm in the acclaimed Sundance documentary on Film4.

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share