out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Review by Susan Granger
4 stars out of 4
This is the multi-layered history of charming, irascible Edward Bloom
(Albert Finney), a consummate story-teller who weaves the improbable events of
his life in Ashton, Alabama, into an elaborate tapestry of tall-tales. As he
lies dying, his wife (Jessica Lange) summons home their estranged son (Billy
Crudup), a reporter based in Paris, who begs for the truth, asking, "Who are
you?" So, in flashbacks, the wild, weird adventures of his father's life
Years ago, young Edward (Ewan McGregor), "a man intended for larger
things," embarked on an odyssey which began with a gentle giant (Matthew
McGrory) and stumbling into the idyllic town of Specter. Subsequently, he
befriended some quirky, colorful characters, including a circus ring-master
(Danny DeVito), a rueful bank robber (Steve Buscemi), and conjoined twins (Ada
& Arlene Tai). Then there's the fanciful courtship of his wife (Alison Lohman)
at Auburn. But most influential was the enchanted witch (Helena Bonham Carter)
who told him that "the biggest fish in the river gets that way by never being
caught," a philosophy he quickly embraced.
Adapted by John August from Daniel Wallace's "Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic
Proportions," this innovative, inventive fable of paternal conflict revolves
around the surreal visual brilliance of director Tim Burton, augmented by
Philippe Rousselot's awesome cinematography and Danny Elfman's musical score.
Does magical realism always make sense? No. But Albert Finney, Tim Burton and
all the creators of "Big Fish" should be contenders for Oscar gold. On the
Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Big Fish" is a wondrous, magical 10. Reality
is highly over-rated. Go for fantasy. Catch one of the best films of the year!
Copyright © 2003 Susan Granger
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