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Marvin's Room
Marvin's Room
Actors: Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Hume Cronyn
Director: Jerry Zaks
Genres: Drama
PG-13     1999     1hr 38min

Leonardo DiCaprio (TITANIC, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN) drives an electrifying performance as the criminally rebellious son in this funny and stirring tale of one family's humor and heartache. Seventeen years ago, fiercely indepe...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Hume Cronyn
Director: Jerry Zaks
Creators: Adam Schroeder, Bonnie Palef, Craig Gering, David Wisnievitz, Jane Rosenthal, John Guare, Scott McPherson
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Family Life
Studio: Miramax
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/09/1999
Original Release Date: 01/01/1997
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1997
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

An unforgettable movie
Jessica | The Bay State | 01/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Most of the reviews of 'Marvin's Room' I've read online all mention Leonardo DiCaprio and how cute he is, how much he is loved, and how he acted wonderfully in the movie. I can't say I don't agree- he adds flavor to the movie and pulls off a very convincing act of a troubled boy. But the floor belong to Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. I can't think of better actresses for this movie than these two- they're beautiful together. The movie is handled in a dramatic light; from the beach scene to the darkened scene where Bessie tells the story of her dead boyfriend. I don't think there's a better movie of family dysfunction.Most movies on family dysfunction end badly and disappoint me greatly. But this movie is a positive one, and ends in one of the best scenes I've ever seen. Here you have two sisters who haven't seen each other in like twenty years, and suddenly they reunite because Bessie needs a bone marrow transplant; otherwise she'll die. From that, they embrace each other hesitantly but surely; they realize of their love for eachother. They all depend on each other and grow from each other. Lee is someone with lost hope; and Bessie is the one who restores it.You can almost see Bessie's rare spirit reaching out and touching everyone around her. My favorite scene is when Lee convinces Bessie to take off her wig so she can cut it. Of course, anyone's got to feel embarassed if their wigs have to come off in front of anyone; let alone someone you haven't seen for 20 years. But Bessie takes it off with courage and hope; you can totally see it. Keaton was completely magical in this one; she has rare talent. Bessie was the only one emitting hope and triumph in the face of death; and everyone around her began to feel it also. This person is someone I could never be. I admire this character. The final scene... whoo! The rays of light bouncing off the walls seem to be a representation of heaven and love. They all knew Bessie was going to die. This scene is handled with such finality. I would have much preferred the movie end this way than seeing Bessie die. This family is dysfunctional, but this family also experienced love and courage. To be completely honest, I was stunned into dead silence for the first ten minutes after the movie ended. Then I rewound the movie and started watching it again. I couldn't get enough of this exquisite movie. It's much more than a movie- it's pure reality and imagination combined. This movie is proof that people like Bessie exist. Keaton definitely deserves the Academy Award nomination. Hell, she should have won it! I love her. I love this movie! Go see it immediately!You won't regret it--trust me."
Deeply touching!
Thayer | 10/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the best dramas of the 90's. I've seen this movie a number of times since its release and it never fails to move me. It is a story of two estranged sisters whose life choices drove them to different paths but after years of no contact brought them together again when one needs a bone marrow transplant due to cancer. That's when they had the chance to talk about unsaid feelings and provide them a closure. Diane Keaton played the sister with the cancer and Streep the sister who'll try to give the transplant. Leonardo di Caprio (underrated actor) plays Streeps rebellious son and De Niro has a semi cameo as Keaton's doctor. The titular Marvin is the father of Streep and Keaton whose been dying for years without actually dying.

Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton were perfection. I especially enjoyed Streep's performance. It was fun seeing her play a bitch and she nailed the role. But Diane Keaton ultimately takes over the movie especially in the end. I was deeply moved by her performance, so natural and true that it stays with me long after the movie ends.

There's a moving scene towards the end of the movie, when out of the blue Keaton said to Streep that she's very lucky because her life was full of love and then Streep consoled her and said yes many people loves her. But Keaton said it's not about that. What she meant was she's very lucky to love her dad and her aunt so much. Makes you realize that the best feeling in the world is to love someone regardless whether reciprocated or not. The ending was just perfect, it's still sad but in a good way where the characters reached the peak of their character arcs. It's a triumphant ending.

I recommend this film to the highest regard possible. It's full of heart and I don't want to say life lessons because the movie ain't preachy, but I guess in some ways made you think about your own life.

Grade: A"
Good Performances In A Good Movie
Barry | 01/28/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is based on Scott McPherson's off - Broadway play. It has been turned into a wonderful little movie. A movie that is sort of one of those lost gems. Meryl Streep heads an impeccable all star cast as a woman who comes back in contact with her long estranged sister, played by Diane Keaton. Keaton's character has been taking care of her and Streep's very old and very ill father(played so realistically by Hume Cronyn). Keaton's character then finds out that she has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. The only donors that can help are Meryl and her wayward kids(headed by the solid Leonardo DiCaprio). Meryl and the kids head down to Florida where Keaton is and, well, they bring along some of their own little dysfunction. The movie is sad, but not in the ball your eyes out way. It avoids the usual scenes of death beds and a huge dying scene. None of that is here. The movie is about the family, and the two estranged sisters coming together. Not to mention Meryl's character coming to terms with her son Hank(Leo). The film definitley hits some emotional highs, but it's not, as I've said above, the usual way we've seen it a hundred times before. Robert De Niro appears in a fairly small role as Keaton's character. He also co-produced the film. Our main stars here all shine brightly. Keaton is great, as always. Meryl and Leo makes their characters believeable, if not very sympathetic. In the end, it's Keaton who shines the brightest. Marvin's Room is a nice family drama that was horribly overlooked and forgotten by most people. Give it a chance."
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 04/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Instead of the usual over-the-top heavy-sentiment scenes in a dysfunctional family, Marvin's Room finds a clever, non-contrived way to end by leaving its characters at a magical moment of mutual understanding. It is one of the most powerful endings I've ever seen in a film. Greatly acted by almost everyone (including a very young Leonardo Di Caprio), great score, excellent screenplay, a tinge of wry humor through it all, and gutwrenching emotion. I picked up the DVD for Streep, and found her character a little one-dimensional. But when I really think of it, the most remarkable thing about the film is how it reveals how similar the two sisters are, despite their non-trivial character differences. Both abandon one part of their family to sacrifice for another part -- they each merely take different parts, and that's why Lee's character is not as bad, selfish or one-dimensional as she first seems. Lee's problem was understanding love. Despite all her lovers, Lee (Streep) had to learn the real meaning of love from her spinster sister Bessie (Keaton).Worth buying, as anyone with a heartbeat will watch this gem more than once. Highly recommended."