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Big Fish

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All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Big Fish

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney
Director: Tim Burton
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 125 Minutes
Release Date: January 2004
Genres: Comedy, Drama


*Also starring: Alison Lohman, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Steve Buscemi, Helena Bonham Carter, Brandon Carroll, Destiny Miley Cyrus, Matthew McGrory, Mark McWhorter, Missi Pyle



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 unfold.

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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