Big Fish

Another movie that I have seen recently is Tim Burton's Big Fish. I've always love Tim Burton pictures, but the last one I'd seen, Sleepy Hallow, had left me disappointed. I must say, though not all reviewers that I've read were impressed, I very much enjoyed the film.

The movie's framing devise has Billy Crudup as Will Bloom, an expectant father visiting his own ailing father (Albert Finney) and trying to come to terms with the man he knows but doesn't know while he still can. The majority of the movie is a series of flashback to the story of Ed Bloom's life, or at least the the story as he has always told it. Ed Bloom is a master teller of grandious tall tales, and it is difficult for those around him, particularly his son, to seperate the fact from the fiction.

The movie is much more vivid and alive during the tall tales, with the trademark Burton surreality and whimsy. The colors are brighter, the contrasts are deeper, the hair and costumes more stylized, and the music more...Elfman-y. Ewan McGregor plays Ed Bloom as a younger man, while Alison Lohman is eerily perfect as the younger version of Jessica Lange's Sandra Bloom.

The scenes in the framing section are fairly straight forward and movie-ish. Less enthralling, but just as important, they ground us in the reality from which the tall tales can spring. Being able to see Ed Bloom the way others see him helps us to appreciate it when we get to see Ed Bloom the way he sees himself. The scenes are well-acted in that they convey the emotion and gravity of the family situation without becoming mawkish.

Toward the end of the film, the two worlds come together is a very satisfying way. I don't want to give much away, but if you are at all a crier, bring some kleenex with you when seeing this movie.

To be true, there were a few moments here and there that had me shifting in my seating and waiting for them to be over, but as a whole I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and was happy to see it all on the big screen.

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This page contains a single entry by Kayjayoh published on January 17, 2004 12:20 PM.

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