Revisiting the One that Got Away
Big Fish (2003).
We loved Edward Scissorhands (1990) and we hated Planet of the Apes (2001). And maybe we were lukewarm about everything in between. But Burton made a resilient comeback with a fish story bigger than the ones my grandfather used to tell.
Marked by the unquestionable stamp of Burton’s artistic direction, this film tells the life story of Edward Bloom (Albert Finney), through his son William's (Billy Crudup) eyes, and through Edward's own memories. William has lived his entire life resenting his father's particular brand of tall tale, and when he brings his wife home for the first time, at the eve of his father's death, she relishes in hearing them all. William, however, wanted to get a chance to know who his father really was before he died.
Young Edward (Ewan McGregor) lives a romantic life full of dreams and danger. Each of his stories comes to life in a gaudy and grandiose way, full of whimsy and wonder and unbelievable color. Based on the novel, Big Fish, A Story of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace, Tim Burton and screenwriter John August have created a film that is bigger than any fish story Bloom could tell – and without the camp or the kitsch.
I can understand why William doesn't believe his father. His stories are seemingly impossible – if only for his cast of friends and acquaintances – a giant, a circus ringmaster who is part werewolf, a town full of people who do not wear shoes, and a set of sexy conjoined twins are only a few of the people about which he weaves his narrative.
But what happens when Will, rifling through his father's things in the garage, finds the deed to a house in the town he was sure never existed?
Burton's best work earns its heartaches with honesty and integrity. This is not a film full of cheap gut-wrenches or low-brow situation dramatics. This is an impressionistic masterpiece about family and love and time and distance. Each time I watch it, I think of my grandfather, who said, "Now that's a good show." And it is.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Big Fish - A Time Burton Classic & Epic
I've never met anyone who hasn't enjoyed Tim Burton's Big Fish. Big Fish is an epic tale that is, like any other Tim Burton film, gloriously visual. The producing and directing are superb and the result is a fantasticly visual movie - the characters, colors, and scenes come to life and are only done justice on the big screen. Tim Burton's films are always epics and always fun to watch - from Edward Scissorhands to Beatle Juice to The Corpse Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas - and Big Fish is no different. And also like all Tim Burton movies - there is a deep message beneath the soft shell and witty dialouge.
While Tim Burton is the star behind the scenes, the cast is superb and interacts wondefully with one another: Albert Finney, Alison Lohman, Billy Crudup, Danny DeVito, Ewan McGregor, Helena Bonham-Carter, Jessica Lange, Loudon Wainwright III, Marion Cotillard, Matthew McGrory, Robert Guillaume, Steve Buscemi.
Big Fish is truly a beautiful movie - theres a great message, a strong plot, solid scripting and dialouge - and it all lies beneath a gorgoue veneer.
8 of 14 people found this review helpful.
“Big Fish”, 2003, Directed by Tim Burton, is one of my favorite movies and one of the reasons which I am interested in storytelling.
This movie is all about story telling. The plot revolves around a son and his dying father. The son, William, does not know much about his father, Edward. All he knows about his father comes from stories his father told him. William does not believe the stories his dad have told him throughout his life. He wants to know who his read dad is, and not some fantasy stories. What William does not realize at first is that the stories are his dad. The film follows William journey as he makes this revelation. The movie addresses such question as the nature of storytelling, the relations between storytelling and truth, and what does storytelling say about the storytellers themselves.
The movie is well produces, and a feast to the eyes. It is like a modern fairy tale. It is very emotional, and in the end I had tears in my eyes. I would recommend this movie to everybody, and especially those who are interested in storytelling. Those who are not interested in storytelling will become interested after watching this film. Without storytelling life is boring. It lacks a certain magic. If you ever wonder if story telling is important- Big Fish IS the film to see.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
My mom says, "Life is like a box of...wait..." LOL :-)
I just had to get your attention...Okay, Excellent movie! This stands as one of my favorite flicks because the story is beautiful, touching, funny, and visually it is amazing. Like a real-life fairy tale, which falls under many of Tim Burton's movies.
However, and I could be wrong, but this movie is one of the few I can think of that is associated with Tim Burton but isn't...dark: I like Tim Burton and this movie has it's share of dark scenes but the movie isn't 75-80% dark...lol, so it is nice to see a vision of Tim Burton from the other side of the fence.
The movie itself is based on a book to which I can't recall the author (sorry if you are reading this, mr. author) and features Ewan McGreggor, Danny DeVito, Steve Buscemi, and Albert Finney among others. You can not go wrong with this movie and from beginning to end it is fantastic.
PS...Careful of the ending though--it sometimes makes me grab a box of kleenex (oy, did I just type that aloud?)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Big Fish DVD
This is by far the best Tim Burton movie ever mixing fantasy with reality! Trust me, you'll love it....so give it a try! My son loves it and had tried convince me to watch it more than once and when I finally did I had to have it right away to watch over and over. The way Burton expertly blends fantasy with reality is not only visually beautiful, but so is the story line. This movie shows how fullfilling giving is and how it does come back to you and how a lifelong journey of living this way can bring great peace in one's life. The cast is just perfect. Normally I expect to see Johnny Depp who I think is great in a great Burton film, however the choice of Ewan McGregor was an excellent choice.
This is a must see on your list!!!!!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.