This Boy's Life


Leonardo DiCaprio shows early promise

Rarely seen now without a beard and a frown, Leonardo DiCaprio has come a long way since the fresh-faced days of Michael Caton-Jones’ ’50s-set drama. But even then, he was an actor of rare maturity, conveying soulfulness and self-awareness in spades as the teen rebel whose nomadic life gets a whole lot worse after his divorced mother (Ellen Barkin) marries brutal martinet Robert De Niro.

The latter gives a screen-hogging turn, but his bullying stepfather is such an ogre he leans towards caricature, leaving the laurels to Leo.

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