More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
4.33

Awesome49.7%
Worth A Look: 38.79%
Average: 7.88%
Pretty Bad: 1.82%
Total Crap: 1.82%

11 reviews, 99 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Darkest Hour by Jay Seaver

Shape of Water, The by Jay Seaver

I, Tonya by Rob Gonsalves

Wonder Wheel by Peter Sobczynski

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by Rob Gonsalves

Swindlers, The by Jay Seaver

Oro (Gold) by Jay Seaver

Disaster Artist, The by Peter Sobczynski

Explosion by Jay Seaver

Lucky (2017) by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed


Big Fish
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Slyder

"Larger than life"
4 stars

Tim Burton finally comes back after his half-baked attempt at remaking The Planet of the Apes with Big Fish, a quirky, stylish film that although it maybe somewhat of an odd duck to sit through, itís actually quite an enjoyable experience, even if the fiction factors go a bit over the edge.

The film is actually two stories weaved into one: William Bloom (Billy Cudrup) has a falling out with his father Edward (Albert Finney) after their marriage because Edward has always been telling stories about himself that are simply impossible, fantastic and ridiculous. William grew up with these stories but when he realizes how surrealistic they are and he blows up against his father for never telling him how things in fact REALLY happened. Three years have passed, and William receives a call from his mom, Sandra (Jessica Lange) whom tells him that his father is dying. Determined to find some reconciliation between him and his father, William goes to his father and tries to piece together all the tall tales that he has told for several years in order to find a common ground and understanding between each other.

There we skip into Edward Bloom when he was younger; Young Edward (Ewan McGregor) was a successful jock and a businessman (big fish in small pond) whom once in his young life he saw his destiny after seeing the glass eye of the local witch, and after meeting a gentle giant (Mathew McGrory), he goes out of his hometown towards the big city. During the journey, he encounters a heaven-like town called Spectre where he meets where he meets Jenny (Helena Bonham-Carter); the two would meet again later in life. He then went to work in a Circus, owned by Amos Calloway (Danny De Vito), and there he meets the love of his life and wife-to-be Sandra (Alison Lohman), and how they settled into business with a quirky invention, donations from friend-poet-robber-broker Norther Winslow (Steve Buscemi), a trip to the war, and finally settling into the majestic house where they lived to this very day.

If you ask me, itís a lot easier for us to imagine Edwardís world as it is while you read the book written by Danny Wallace, since imagination tends to break free from the barriers of suspension of disbelief. When it comes to film however, the whole fantastic and surrealistic parts may not gel well as we view them on the screen. I actually had quite a bit of trouble buying and digesting all these parts and Iím sure that the audiences will have the same sort of problem since the film all the time is asking us to take these scenes just how they are and not question the surrealism nor the suspension of disbelief that is imminent here. That, plus the filmís blending between the real and the surreal and the sudden twists it does from one side to the other may cause certain confusion amongst the viewers and can be distracted from the storyís main course. I can bet that screenwriter John August had quite a rough time adapting this book due to the evident and constant jumping back and forth between reality and fiction.

Despite the stepping stones, the material itself remains interesting since all these surreal stories just add interest to the viewer and you just want to know what in the world is going to happen next, and how is it that William will ever find out the truth, and finally reconcile with his father. Due to this, itís never boring. Burtonís direction remains steady and brings us as always his usual trademark of stylish filmmaking, filled with quirky settings and dark overtones. The cinematography is very good, and the musical score by longtime Burton collaborator Danny Elfman is well made and well placed in certain key scenes never overdoing it.

The film is helped largely though by the cast, whom plays almost to perfection, with Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor both giving out solid performances as both the old and young Edward Bloom. Billy Cudrup is also well-casted as William, as well as Alison Lohman as the younger Sandra. Jessica Lange as the older Sandra though, wow, man, if not only shines in this film but if thereís ever a gal that just keeps getting hotter the older she gets, is this woman; Sam Shepard, youíre such a lucky bastard.

In the end, this film is worth seeing, despite the fact that your suspension of disbelief will be strongly beaten to shreds by it. But itís rewarding, since it delivers a very heartfelt message that is so apparent in our world that it can even give you a new look in life, and how after telling the story so many times, you just become bigger than the story. All in all, not a bad piece of work. 4-5

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8377&reviewer=235
originally posted: 01/31/04 09:41:38
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/17/12 obnox brilliant, awesome, remarkable...yesssssss 5 stars
1/16/12 hurdygurdy man Not sure who's this for...maybe w/some good Acid?? 3 stars
3/06/10 cutie_b's this movie made me realize that clowns should ALWAYS carry guns. 5 stars
12/02/09 Troy The best movie I've seen in 10 years. Just awesome 5 stars
7/28/09 iloveEM i loved this movie ewan mcgregor did an amazing job with a great accent 5 stars
8/03/08 Shaun Wallner Such a Happy Story! 5 stars
7/28/08 The Dork Knight I don't get it. 3 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT PROOF THAT A GOOD CAST CAN DO LITTLE TO HELP A POORLY WRITTEN, UNORGANISED SCRIPT 1 stars
5/08/08 chamorro awesome 5 stars
2/17/08 SamanthaP it was really sweet and imaginative and sad at the end (good sad) 5 stars
6/17/07 Bopo A phenomenonally creative feel good movie. Easily one of my favorites. 5 stars
2/17/07 Vip Ebriega A great story with a moral agenda. 3 stars
11/11/06 David Pollastrini very funny 3 stars
7/25/06 R.W.Welch Not flawless, but highly imaginative, funny and touching, too. Close enough. 5 stars
12/31/05 tony BORING 1 stars
8/28/05 Quigley ewan ruled int his, as he always does. its surreal atmosphere is great and enjoyable. 5 stars
8/06/05 Zack GREAT! 5 stars
7/16/05 Charlie Alison Lohman is great in this flick, just like in Matchstick Men. 5 stars
5/01/05 Alyson A magical and enchanting movie. Favorite actor and director. 5 stars
3/12/05 Alice Colwell allright 4 stars
3/02/05 Pinthestripeonthegoat Tales of a catfish hunter 5 stars
12/25/04 Red Sox Still Suck Great movie. Tim Burton rarely disappoints. See it by all means 5 stars
12/15/04 Tom Benton Beautiful, moving, clever and often funny drama, Burton's "Forrest Gump"; McGregor is great 5 stars
12/01/04 lolalaloca13 1 of top 5 fave films 5 stars
11/27/04 Matt Carson looking forward to seeing it again 5 stars
11/22/04 luis i like it but the 2 chinnesse girls they werent join? 5 stars
9/23/04 denny the parts were better than the whole 4 stars
9/13/04 Edgar Well, it manipulated my feelings, but in a clever well done way... 5 stars
9/08/04 JeffK Very enjoyable 5 stars
8/26/04 Anthony G good times 4 stars
8/20/04 DM Tied with Ed Wood as Tim Burton's best movie 5 stars
7/28/04 tristan tim burtons best since edward scissorhands 5 stars
7/28/04 Mike Devans Nothing spectacular. I expected more out of it 4 stars
7/21/04 AngeFaitore Forrest Gump Acid Trip! 3 stars
7/09/04 Ruth Ann Farver Overblown, Mundane, Cutesy, Junk 1 stars
7/07/04 Taylor Fladgate Unforgetable 5 stars
7/04/04 Ionicera good all around but too sentimental near the end 4 stars
6/15/04 Gerry Ditrich Bloody Brilliant!! best film by Tim Burton so far 5 stars
6/12/04 Larry We live on by the way we are remembered. Seems simple, yet this is done so beautifully! 5 stars
6/08/04 palaboy101 unforgettable and excellent! 5 stars
5/26/04 Russell Watson Wonderful Movie 5 stars
5/25/04 DMF Incredibly affecting. If you have (or had) a parent, see it. 5 stars
5/21/04 Gretchen Ross this was a beautiful film in terms of story and acting; very creative as well 5 stars
5/20/04 Matthew Tim Burton's best effort since "Ed Wood"! 5 stars
5/11/04 Efrain Vivas a masterpiece 5 stars
5/06/04 Mermaid's Pedicurist Overblown tribute to the fetish that flaky and offbeat is automatically good. 2 stars
5/06/04 Maryclaire Becan LOVE THIS MOVIE 5 stars
5/03/04 blue absolutely magical 5 stars
4/16/04 A Reader Strikes right notes of fantasy, whimsy, sentimentality; the town of Spectre will haunt you. 5 stars
3/26/04 S-P Sweet Movie..similair to FG, but not as interesting. 3 stars
3/24/04 Chloe Brody THis was so sweet - how gorgeous was Edward??? 4 stars
3/20/04 kari dennis great movie 5 stars
3/17/04 Holly Beeman ...The most beautiful story ever told. :~) 5 stars
3/02/04 Wendranh strange plot...different 3 stars
2/28/04 alien assasin "Forrest Gump" with a quirky twist 4 stars
2/26/04 Troy Butler Not Burton's best, but highly entertaining nonetheless!!! 4 stars
2/25/04 susan lee liked use of VO... diff burton style ..ewan rocks! 4 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge Whimsical, magical and loaded with innuendo, this is Burton at his best. Rich and tasty. 5 stars
2/23/04 FrayLo I wasn't sure about this movie at the beginning, but the ending sealed it for me. 4 stars
2/22/04 Phyllis Joy Very good movie. Stunning visuals and an interesting storyline. "Almost Awesome." 4 stars
2/18/04 Joe So good 5 stars
2/17/04 ian THIS FILM WAS SENT BY GOD- AMAZING JUST AMAZING DESERVES MORE THAN 5 STARS 5 stars
2/17/04 Chris I thought this was a nice good movie but the ending made it terrfic. I loved it alot. 5 stars
2/09/04 Caiphn Great film. 5 stars
2/09/04 Whatevr The only sucking this movie does is sucking you in. 5 stars
2/08/04 Smitty Great performance by Finney. A visually stunning film reminiscent of Fellini in his prime. 4 stars
2/08/04 ThriceRise beautiful movie. 5 stars
2/07/04 john bale A modern fairytale that proves to be poetic Cinema of the Wizard of Oz quality 5 stars
2/06/04 Brendan What a story and what a telling. I'll see it again. 5 stars
2/03/04 Matt One of Tim Burton's best! 5 stars
2/03/04 Monday Morning Disappointingly manipulative. 2 stars
2/03/04 Heath Entertaining and imaginitive! 5 stars
2/01/04 STUFU McGrego and Finney are great, but Crudup gives a boring performance. Great overall. 5 stars
1/31/04 Chopper3 Very nicely crafted indeed 5 stars
1/26/04 Helen Bradley McGregor great; confusing plot too long 2 stars
1/25/04 Lord Chu Very, very nice 5 stars
1/24/04 chris. excellent film...better than the other crap they want us to see 5 stars
1/20/04 disaffected daughter too forgiving of remorseless bad parenting 4 stars
1/19/04 yeahboy Forrest Gump meets Baron Munchausen!! 4 stars
1/19/04 Nicole Very entertaining 5 stars
1/18/04 Bemused Often Brilliant; although I would love to see Burton transcend his own style for a change 5 stars
1/18/04 steve andrews 2003's Best! 5 stars
1/17/04 Ayatolla of Rockinrolla The best movie of 2003. Similar yet better than Forrest Gump 5 stars
1/17/04 jcjs fantastic 5 stars
1/17/04 Agent Sands Too unbelievably entertaining for words! Fantastic! 5 stars
1/15/04 Todd Bertuzzi What a beautiful movie....expected great...got great. Wow...very, VERY good. 5 stars
1/15/04 Betty White Pleasant, charming Burton flick; Lange & Finney are wonderful. 4 stars
1/14/04 Jon Lyrik One of the best films of 2003, and Burton's best since Ed Wood. 5 stars
1/14/04 AH I've only cried that hard one other time at a theatre, but I was so happy at the same time 5 stars
1/13/04 syrius speechless 5 stars
1/13/04 Gray the most beautiful death scene ever filmed 5 stars
1/13/04 KingNeutron Burton's best film, IMHO. Helena Bonham Carter's char stole the show for me. 5 stars
1/12/04 HorrorScribbler That Tim Burton, he make-a me cry! 5 stars
1/11/04 T. Hall Has there been better casting this year? 5 stars
1/10/04 jcjs wow, under the infulence, captivating, transforming, telling, delightful, clever etc. 5 stars
1/06/04 JT Finale made my GF cry! 5 stars
1/03/04 chris 1 movie has ever made me cry. this is the second. one of my top 5 favorites 5 stars
12/29/03 Eric S. Good movie, nice ending, unique 4 stars
12/17/03 - Fantastic superb. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  10-Dec-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 08-Nov-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  05-Feb-2004




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast