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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



Big Fish
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Mark Rodger-Snelson

"A gem of a film"
4 stars

After a rather ordinary and somewhat pointless venture into the remake world with Planet of the Apes, Tim Burton is back on form with the whimsical and lively movie that is Big Fish.

It is a film brimming with life that captures the audience from start to finish making it a very enjoyable journey into the wondrous imagination of Tim Burton and Daniel Wallace, the author of the novel on which it is based.

The tale is that of the life of Edward Bloom played by Albert Finney and as a young man by Ewan McGregor. Bloom is storyteller with a wild imagination who seems to have convinced even himself that his stories are based on facts rather than fiction. His son Will (Billy Crudup), however, is not convinced and decides that it is the final straw when instead of a typical father/son speech at his wedding reception, Edward tells an unbelievable tale that he has heard a thousand times before. Although Will was entertained by these stories when he was a child, he has now grown frustrated with the fact that it is impossible to get to know the ‘real’ Edward Bloom and as a consequence he does not speak with him for 12 years except vaguely through his mother, Sandra Bloom’s (Jessica Lange) letters. This communication breakdown changes with the news that Ed is on his deathbed. Will decides to travel to his parent’s house with his now pregnant wife Josephine (Marion Cotillard) in a final attempt to find out who his father really was.

Will soon finds out that there is has been no change in his father’s tales of fantasy and through a series of flashbacks we enter the magical world of Edward Bloom. His adventures start when he saves his town from a misunderstood giant named Karl whom he befriends and they set of to the big city together. Along the way Edward decides to take a short cut with the promise of meeting Karl along on the other side. Although the path is rumoured to be full of danger and the fact no one who has gone down there has ever returned, Edward cannot help himself. After battling the various hazards that the path serves up, he lands in a perfect town named Spectre where the inhabitants spend their days lazing about, eating fine food and dancing the night away. Even though Spectre is most people’s idea of heaven on Earth, Edward decides that there is too much to see in the big wide world before he could settle in such a place.

The story continues with how Edward met his first and only true love and the madness he went through in order capture her heart. There is a tale from his childhood about a witch (Helena Bonham Carter) he crossed paths once who revealed how he and a number of his buddies would meet their maker by just looking into her eye. Whilst these fables unfold, Will is becoming more determined to get to the bottom of his father’s true self and begins to investigate his life by searching his belongings and visiting the supposed landmarks of his yarns (such as the town of Spectre).

Burton’s visual flare is back in a huge way with Big Fish. The sets and cinematography are absolute eye candy for film lovers. It is shot with a dreamlike quality that is reminiscent yet not quite as dark as his classics such as Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow. The lead roles are acted flawlessly by all players and it is possibly the best ensemble for a Tim Burton film yet. The supporting cast and the characters that they play are equally fantastic with Steve Buscemi’s writer’s blocked poet, Danny De Vito’s circus ringleader and Helena Bonham Carter’s witch being the standouts. Burton even tracked down Billy Redden (the ‘banjo boy’ from Deliverance) for his second ever film role, once again sitting on a porch playing the banjo.

Big Fish is definitely Tim Burton’s most sentimental film to date but is no less enjoyable than his earlier works. He has once again successfully achieved what the movie going experience should be about – escapism and sitting back being effortlessly absorbed into a place more extraordinary than reality. Big Fish is a gem of a film.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8377&reviewer=388
originally posted: 12/04/04 13:47:14
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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!
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USA
  10-Dec-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 08-Nov-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  05-Feb-2004




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