Thursday, April 8, 2010

200. Big Fish

Big Fish (2003)

Director: Tim Burton

Starring: Albert Finney
Ewan McGregor
Billy Crudup
Jessica Lange

IMDb Rating: 8
My Rating: 8.5

" There's a time when a man needs to fight, and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny is lost... the ship has sailed and only a fool would continue. Truth is... I've always been a fool."

Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) has lived a long life full of amazing journeys, or as his son William (Billy Crudup) sees it, just tall tales. On the eve of William's wedding his father is telling the story of the day his son was born, but the focus as usual lies on himself and not on his son. After a lifetime of hearing the same stories, William has had enough of his father's selfishness. It is three years until the two speak again, but when Edward's battle with cancer seems to be coming to an end, William must return home. His reunion with his ailing father seems like they had just seen each other the day before. Before his father becomes too ill, William wants to know the truth of his father's life. Soon we find ourselves looking back at the life of Edward Bloom (now played by Ewan McGregor). His tale is an unbelievable one filled with the most eclectic cast of characters that your mind could imagine. Soon William starts to see that maybe not all of the stories behind his father's life are tall tales at all.

Big Fish is the perfect example how a film's visuals can completely take you away. The world and life of Edward Bloom is perfectly interpreted by director Tim Burton. Those who are used to Burton's usual darkness will find this film to be much brighter. The use of blues, yellows, and greens are extremely apparent. There are still a few of the typical dark scenes from the Gothic mindset of Burton that we are all used to. Also the use of time aging things is done wonderfully. Early in the film Edward visits the small town of Spector. It's main street is a gorgeous patch of grass with beautiful buildings on each side. Later in the film, Edward visits Spector again, and time has brought an actual road which has lead to the town's ruin. What once was a town with a beautiful green centerpiece, is now a muddy rundown version of it's former glory. Most people will site Edward Scissorhands as Burton's masterpiece, although I really feel that his finest work is found in Big Fish.

I'd like to point out the two excellent performances by Ewan McGregor as the younger Edward Bloom and Albert Finney as the older Edward Bloom. In many films, two actors playing the same character tends to come off as two different characters all together. Not the case in Big Fish. Both McGregor and Finney present the exact same amount of charm, passion, and sheer likability. It is virtually impossible to not grow fond of Bloom by the film's first flashback scene. McGregor and Finney team up to give us one of the most likable and solid characters of the last ten years.

People connect with films for many different reasons. I have spoken of my wonderful grandfather on this blog before, and Edward Bloom reminds me very much of him. His legend was almost bigger than the man himself. That might be a large part 0f why I am so fond of this film. What cannot be debated are the excellent performances by McGregor and Finney. As well as the amazing vision for the film from director Tim Burton. Big Fish is like a mixture of The Wizard of Oz and Forrest Gump which is not to be missed.


  1. How are you going to finish a list that updates and changes depending on people's tastes at a certain time?

  2. i get this question a lot. in my first post, i said that i am freezing the list as of 11-29-2009. thanks for reading though. it's terrible writing with a lot of heart.

  3. I've been watching the AFI 100 and writing a blog on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums, so I completely understand. Good luck.

  4. GOOD LUCK TO YOU TOO! shoot me a link to your blogs, i would love to read them!