Big Fish is so emotional and so sincere, depending on the place you’re in, it can be almost difficult to watch, but worth every minute.
Tim Burton directed this after losing his father and mother between 2000-2002. Although not close to either or perhaps because of that, Burton is able to meticulously highlight the pain, sorrow, regret, and joy of the story; each are woven through each shot with a texture only loss can weave.
There is no way to explain this movie except to say watching it is an unmitigated pleasure that you will want to call on again and again.
The cast is exceptional in so many ways: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Marion Cotillard, Helena Bonham Carter, Danny DeVito, Robert Guillaume, Matthew McGrory, Steve Buscemi, Alison Lohman, Deep Roy, and Miley Cyrus (credited as Destiny Cyrus) among others.
The 1998 novel, Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace gives us this fantastical tale of a man who has an astonishing gift for storytelling. On his deathbed he and his son try to reconcile.
John August follows the same path, but brings the tale onto the screen with words and images that wrap you in soft, warm blanket where you want to sip some tea and press replay.
The son thinks he can never trust his father because he obviously wasn’t as his tall tales portrayed. The son had never looked past his own disbelief to his heart where his father’s stories had nestled, where he learned the stories were true in many ways, if he only believed.
A film of rare proportions, with just the right mix adventure, magical storytelling, the glory of life and love, and raw emotion.
And music by Danny Elfman. Never forget that.
When I read the book I cried.
When I saw the movie I openly wept.
And still I never fully understood…
Now, sadly, I do.