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Best for Tim Burton Fans, But.........

  • Apr 29, 2004
  • by
BIG FISH is a sleeper of a movie. Now that may sound like an oxymoron for a Tim Burton all-stops-out fantasy gig, but for those who don't get lightheaded at the mention of this talented director's name of ilk of films, this journey has a lot of fine surprises. Yes, this is another fantasy movie, but this time the fantasy embroiders a tender and (and all too frequent) trying examination of a father/son relationship. Young Will Bloom is called home to Alabama (where his father is dying) from Paris where he and his pregnant wife have fled to get away from his distant father who has only conversed with Will through tall tales ('lies') to the point that the schism produced makes Will realize that he doesn't know his father at all. Burton can't resist making visual all the tall tales so often repeated by Edward Bloom - stories of his preposterous birth, the way he met his wife, the journey to escape the little town through magic forests and 'heavenly' cites with his comrade the giant, his employment by sideshows, and his encounters with witches, odd balls, and huge fish. These parts of the story plead patience, so overblown and non-edited they endlessly appear, but in the end the reason for telling them finds home in the coming together of the father and son in a way that leaves not a dry eye in the audience. Burton wisely has a cast of professionals that help make this story work: Ewan McGregor is the young Ed Bloom and Albert Finney is the elder form of the man, Billy Crudup is the son Will, Jessica Lange the Mother (Alison Lohman is her younger self), and the assorted characters are spun by the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Danny DeVito, Steve Buscemi, Robert Guillaume, and an especially fine Matthew McGrory as Karl the Giant. Endure the excesses of the first part of the film and the rewards are superb in the end!

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review by . March 07, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
This is one of those movies you want to just see to enjoy. Wonderful imagination here on several levels. It is difficult to separate reality from dream/story here, as the film was ment to be. Burton has done a good job of this. I suppose you could call this an adventure fairytale of sorts. Be that as it may, I enjoyed it and would recommend it highly. Just watch it and have fun!
review by . April 30, 2004
Pros: visuals, special effects, Buscemi, Finney, DeVito, fun to watch     Cons: basic story is weak, McGregor's accent     The Bottom Line: This bottom line's not big enough for a woman of my ambition.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals no details about the movie''s plot. If Big Fish had been directed by anyone other than Tim Burton, I probably would have been bored out of my scull. Thankfully, Burton’s gorgeous visuals boost the …
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Grady Harp ()
Ranked #96
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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About this movie


After a string of mediocre movies, director Tim Burton regains his footing as he shifts from macabre fairy tales to Southern tall tales.Big Fish twines in and out of the oversized stories of Edward Bloom, played as a young man by Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge, Down with Love) and as a dying father by Albert Finney (Tom Jones). Edward's son Will (Billy Crudup,Almost Famous) sits by his father's bedside but has little patience with the old man's fables, because he feels these stories have kept him from knowing who his father really is. Burton dives into Bloom's imagination with zest, sending the determined young man into haunted woods, an idealized Southern town, a traveling circus, and much more. The result is sweet but--thanks to the director's dark and clever sensibility--never saccharine. Also featuring Jessica Lange, Alison Lohman, Helena Bonham Carter, Danny DeVito, and Steve Buscemi.--Bret Fetzer
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