Big Fish (2004)

big fishStarring: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Lohman, Marion Cotillard, Matthew McGrory, Missi Pyle, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito

Directed by: Tim Burton

PG-13. 125 mins

An imaginative father-son tale that brings Tim Burton’s magic closer to home. Based on Daniel Wallace’s novel, the story involves William Bloom (Billy Crudup) and his dying father (Albert Finney), who he never really got a chance to know outside the fantastical stories he heard as a child. As his father recollects his youth (played by Ewan McGregor), William tries to differentiate between the truth and the fiction of his father’s seemingly magical life. Unfortunately, it becomes easier to sympathize with William’s frustrations as his father’s tales become more and more outlandish and disjointed. The over-the-top acting and laborious efforts to make this into an epic prove frustrating, but there is still a lot of heart and visual marvels amongst all the gimmicks. For a film all about telling stories though, it’s a shame that Big Fish can’t seem to tell its own –  * * * 

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