Release Year: 2003
Director: Tim Burton
Writers: John August (screenplay), Daniel Wallace (based on his 1998 novel Big Fish)
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Lohman, Marion Cotillard, Robert Guillaume, Matthew McGrory, David Dennam, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito
The frustrated son of an imaginative story-teller is reunited with his dying father and tries to separate fact from fiction about his father’s life.
Tim Burton is in many regards a fabulist and so his films also have a distinctive fairy-tale quality, but Big Fish manages with more success than most modern fables. The story i simply, yet gripping, an touches on the complex relationship between a distant father and his son. Albert Finney (Erin Brockovich, 2000) plays Ed Bloom as an old man, while Ewan McGregor (Christopher Robin, 2018) plays him as a young man as we see his life as told by the man himself. It is a fantastic story involving a cirkus, a giant, a bank robber, and the biggest fish in the river. What is fiction and what is fact is difficult to find out, but as we come to realise, a good story has its own worth, and the twists on reality that Ed Bloom gives his stories perhaps says more about the man than any list of cold facts and figures ever could. The cast is great: especially the two Ed Bloom’s, but also Jessica Lange (Tootsie, 1982) as the love of his life and Marion Cotillard (Inception, 2010) in her first American film as the charming daughter in law. With a vivid score, beautiful cinematography, and a moving climax, this is a great film about the power of stories as well as fathers and sons. One of Tim Burton’s best and highly recommended.
The unfinished poem Norther Winslow (Steve Buscemi) shows Edward Bloom is in Tim Burton’s handwriting.
Picture Copyright: Sony