Throughout his life Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor) has always been a man of big appetites, enormous passions and tall tales. In his later years, portrayed by five-time Best Actor Oscar® nominee Albert Finney (Best Actor in a... more » Supporting Role, Erin Brockovich, 2000), he remains a huge mystery to his son, William (Billy Crudup). Now, to get to know the real man, Will begins piecing together a true picture of his father from flashbacks of his amazing adventures in this marvel of a movie.« less
"Big Fish is the best movie I have ever seen and I have sent many, many people to see it and none have been disappointed. The easiest way to describe the movie would be "Terms of Endearment" for Sons and Fathers. The son knows that his father is dying, but is unable to let go without at least trying to distinguish between his Father's "Fish" stories and his father's real life. The viewer never knows until the very end of the movie where the truth lies in this senerio. I assume many viewers will find themselves in this "non-chick" flick and so you may need some tissue, I did. Also this is a Tim Burton masterpiece in production, visual effects, plot, music, and character interplay.
The sexiest scene I have ever viewed in a film takes place in Big Fish and yet there is no nudity in the scene. Jessica Lang provides the viewer with her usual superb performance and the young version of her character looks so much like her the viewer forgets they are two different actors and both their performances are outstanding. McGregor, although has lots of scenes in the movie, plays his part of the confused and somewhat angry son flawlessly. The father and his younger version keep the viewer so entertained that you never want this film to end. I would recommend this film to everyone over the age of 12. It is not a good choice for real young children because Tim Burton has done such an outstanding job of producing this film and most of the scenes are bigger than life and would easily scare younger audiances, although this is not a scary movie. It is brilliant and I do not understand why Hollywood has not given this picture more oscar attention and it is rare that I ever want to view a film more than once I intend to buy this DVD and watch it 100 more times."
Only thing new is the book.
Mr. Hobbs | Florida,USA | 09/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of Tim Burton's absolute best. To answer the previous question, it's the same DVD as the initial release. It comes in big box (that's the cover shown) and this one includes the 24 page hardcover book "Fairy Tale for a Grown Up.""
Brilliantly told story.
Sean Bentley | Moorpark, Ca | 05/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I went into Big Fish with high hopes. I love Tim Burton movies. He has an amazing imagination, which is lacking in many directors today. Directors like Roland Emmerich, Renny Harlin, and of course the big one, Michael Bay. These directors only use special effects and big explosions, while the story gets lost. Meanwhile Burton's genius is that his beautiful visuals compliment his stories. So as the curtains rose, and the theater went dark I was overcome by a childish glee. Then to my disdain, the lights came back on, then went on, and off about 15 more times before the movie finally started. But what a movie it ended up being. Big Fish tells the story of a young man trying to sort out the facts and lies that his father has been telling him for his whole life. As the story opens Will Bloom (Crudup) hasn't spoken to his father in almost three years. He got tired of listening to his tall tales, but when he gets a call from his mother (Lange) telling him that his father doesn't have much time he rushes down as a latch ditch effort to learn the facts about his father. Albert Finney plays Edward Bloom, a man nearly confined to his bed, trying to get his son to accept who he is. The majority of the film is told through flashbacks, showing the amazing life that young Edward Bloom (Mcgregor) has lived. From giants to circus, from war to salesman, the film gives you the glimpse of a life as Bloom sees it. Is it true? Is he lying? Or is he embellishing the facts? Who knows and who cares. The actors in this movie shine. Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney are absolutely charming in this movie. You want to believe his stories, and you can see why others do. The convincing shed their accents and pick up a southern accent without you really noticing. Other notable performances include Jessica Lange and Helena Bohnam Carter. But another surprise would have had to be Lohman. This was the first movie I had seen her in, and I was amazed. She is extremely talented and even with the limited screen time she was given manage to catch my attention. Now on to the inevitable visuals. Everyone knows of Tim Burtons visuals. Heck he has made it a trade mark., now known as Burtonism. This movie surprised me in the aspect that although very visual, it was the least of all his movies. What stood out to me? Well the town of Spectre along with the path to get there. It was a beautiful town, which represented Heaven on earth. Another notable section was the circus, where time froze while Ed Bloom saw the women of his life. The screenplay by John August captures the beauty of Daniel Wallace's book while expanding on it. The screenplay looked tailor made to be directed by Tim Burton. Which brings us to the score which was beautifully written by Danny Elfman. I have gotten so used to his dark and moody scores that I forgot how brilliant and light some of his scores can be. This is one of the best, compliments the movie perfectly. So when the lights came back on after the movie was over I was smiling. My imagination was just blown away again by Tim Burton. I was talking about the movie with a few friends after we got out of the theater and they noticed the same reaction from the audience as with me. I remembered being afraid when I sat down originally because it was the late showing and the audience consisted of teens. I was expecting a lot of dumb comments but they were as blown away as I was. Even now a few months later as I watch it on dvd I still can't stop smiling at how much I like this movie. This is a movie for everyone."
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 06/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is, indeed, a magical, mystical movie about fathers and sons, which is based upon the book "Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions" by Daniel Wallace. The book is a perfect vehicle for Director Tim Burton's signature melange of reality and fantasy. The story is that of a father and his son, their estrangement, and their eventual reconciliation. It is a beautifully realized film that will bring tears to one's eyes.
The father in question is Ed Bloom (Albert Finney) who loves to tell, at least it seems so to his son, Will (Billy Crudup), tall tales about his past. The son becomes estranged from his father on his wedding day, when his father tells one tall tale too many for Will's tastes. For the next several years, Will communicates only with his mother, Sandra (Jessica Lange).
When his father becomes seriously ill, however, Will and his wife rush to his side. Father and son take final stock of each other, and the seemingly tall tales continue. As his father gets progressively worse, Will, feeling that he really does not know his father, embarks on a journey to discover for himself, once and for all, the man his father really is. What he discovers is that his father was not so off the mark with his stories, and he finally begins to appreciate who his father really is and the impact that he has had on others. It allows Will to be able to say goodbye to his father in a way that his father understands and to be at peace with the man whom he discovered his father to be .
The film takes the viewer on a ride through some of Ed Bloom's tall tales, in a series of vignettes, where the viewer sees a young Ed Bloom (Ewan McGregor) living an almost fantastical life. We see him meet the love of his life, Sandra, as a young girl (Alison Lohman). We see him as a circus worker, a soldier, a traveling salesman, and even a bank robber. We see some of the people that cross section his life: a giant, a diminutive ringmaster, a witch, singing Siamese twins, and a bank robber. Ed even comes across a perfectly heavenly town full of wonderful, happy people.
This is simply a marvelous film with fantastical elements reminiscent of "Forrest Gump" and "The Princess Bride". Wonderful performances are given by veteran actors Albert Finney and Jessica Lange. Look for the very touching bath tub scene, where, fully clothed, the love between Ed and Sandra is palpable. Albert Finney, in the role of the senior Ed Bloom, is exceptional as a raconteur of the first order. Ewan McGregor is remarkable as the charismatic, younger Ed Bloom, infusing the role with a joie de vivre that is as infectious as it is engaging.
Jessica Lange is terrific as the senior Sandra Bloom, grounding her relationship with her husband with a steadfastedness born of years of mutual love and respect. Alison Lohman is simply lovely as the younger Sandra, imbuing her character with a beautiful sense of innocence and longing. It is interesting that both Alison Lohman and Ewan McGregor strongly resemble their more senior co-stars.
Billy Crudup is excellent as the angry Will Bloom, the son who needs to reconcile his image of his father with the man his father actually is. Robert Guillaume is masterful in the small role of the senior Dr. Bennett. The rest of the stellar cast is superlative, though Danny DeVito's southern accent needed a bit more work. The direction, however, is deft, and the cinematography is brilliant. This is an absolutely exceptional film. I really enjoyed it immensely, even though I initially viewed this film most reluctantly, and only after much persuasion by my son. I am certainly glad that I did. This film has made me a fan of Tim Burton. It is filmmaking at its best. Bravo!"
Is the fish real? Or does it even matter?
Takis Tz. | InYourHead | 04/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found it exceedingly hard to give this film a rating, even those 4 stars i decided for i'm not absolutely certain about, it could easily have been a 3-star decision or a a 5-star even.The reason for this is that "Big Fish" is a tricky proposition to make up your mind about. The fact that many reviewers either absolutely love it or found it tedious is attesting to that notion. While "Big Fish" is on the surface a film about a father in his dying days narrating the incredible and zany stories of his life and a son who tries to find out if these stories have any truth in them and simoultaneously learn who his father really was before he dies, there's quite many underlying and very significant questions and issues that this film deals with. To begin with, we as viewers never really find out with any certainty if these stories are indeed true, but instead we are "trained" through the course of the movie to think with father Gloom's mindset, that is:
"it doesn't really matter if they are true, it only matters that they make a good story". And then just when you think that's all there is, you realise that this film is like an onion really as another layer reveals itself to you:
"but isn't reality a matter of total subjectivity, and that what one person perceives as real the next person might think of as complete nonsense"? And yet who's to say what the answers "really" are? Big Fish walks , in my opinion, a very tight rope, and having to maintain a very precarious balance it does incredibly well. After the disaster of the "Planet of the Apes", Burton comes up in a domain where he does best: one between dream and reality where the borders are not only blurry but there might not be borders alltogether. It's all very "fortean" in concept, but Burton has proven in other films in his past that he can deal with this domain quite succesfully. Aside of the premise of the film (which again, will be perceived by a lot of viewers differently) this is a cinematic masterpiece as Burton brings to life the old school of grand-moviemaking to life. Alone the stunning depictions of the stories of father Gloom are cinema at its dreamy bestand this complimented by a cast headed by McGregor who ultimately finds a vehicle for the performance of his life make up for a not easy to forget film. The rest of the cast is up to par as well. Father Gloom played by Finney is a wonderful zesty character, as well as his wife played by a graciously aging J.Lange. De Vito and Buscemi, even in second leads, remind us easily why they belong to that league of premier actors. Sure enough, were this film to be taken literally, there are quite some plot holes, to name one example, why would a woman be so terribly in love with someone who was basically never there? But, this is exactly the trick here. Big Fish should not be judged on that merit. Burton himself has inserted not one, but many hints inside the dialogues of the film in that direction. Do see it. I'm not claiming it will change your life, but it will provide a lot of food for thought if you find a way to allow it to."