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<p>This Boy's Life (DVD)</p><p>Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro ("GoodFellas," "City by the Sea"), Emmy-winner Ellen Barkin ("Sea of Love," "The Big Easy") and Academy Award-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Departed," "Blood Diamond") star in the film adaptation of author Tobias Wolff's award-winning autobiographical novel. Set in the 1950s, this moving drama tells the story of a young boy and his divorced mother who travel cross country in hopes of a better life. When his mother marries, the boy must struggle to endure a hostile and complex relationship with his tyrannical new stepfather while coming to terms with his own hopes and dreams. Newsweek called this film "stunning, smart, moving and made with passion. This is well crafted Hollywood filmmaking in full bloom.</p>
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Robert De Niro gets top billing, but young Leonardo DiCaprio is the revelation of This Boy's Life, an astute, often painful drama of growing up in the 1950s Pacific Northwest, based on the autobiographical novel by Tobias Woolf. DiCaprio plays Tobias, a good kid with a bad boy streak but an unwavering love for his divorced mother (Ellen Barkin). "I want to be a better boy," he promises from under a greasy pompadour, and tries to prove it when she marries single father Dwight (DeNiro), a bully who parents through intimidation and humiliation. DiCaprio is magnetic in his first starring role, full of anger, hope, and confusion as he drifts back to juvenile delinquency, and his intensity gives the true story of survival and triumph its charge. DeNiro is frightening and pathetic as Dwight, and Dwight's youngest daughter is played by future star and vampire slayer Eliza Dushku. --Sean Axmaker
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