Genre : Tale
Release : Decembre 10th, 2003
DVD : April 27th, 2003
Directed by Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare before Christmas, Corpse Bride)
Written by John August( Charlie's angls, Charlie and the chocolate factory, Corpse Bride)
Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace (Big Fish)
Music composed by Danny Elfman
Starring Ewan McGregor as Edward Bloom young ( Trainspotting, Star Wars, The Island), Albert Finney as Edward Bloom ( Erin Brokovitch, Ocean's Twelve), Billy Vrudup as William Bloom (Everyone says I love You, Almost Famous, M:i III), Jessica Lange as Sandra (Cape Fear, Broken Flowers), Helena Bonham Carter as Jenny and the witch (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Corpse Bride), Danny DeVito as Amos Calloway (Batman Returns, Virgin Suicides), Marion Cotillard as Joséphine (A Good Year, La Môme), and many others...
Synopsis : William's dad is dying, so decide to pay a visit, he hasn't talked to him since his mariage with Joséphine. Edward has spent his life telling everyone fantastic stories filled with extraordinary people : a giant, siamese twins, a witch whose glass eye show you your death...But Will would like to know at last the true story of his father, and this is where he discovered that everything was not a lie...
What I think : That is pure Burton, tales, magic, endearing and fantastic characters, we even say to ourselves that it is not possible that it can be an adptation;o) The choice in the actors is very well thought, just like all Burton's films, with on top of that a young french actress. A very beautiful tale, a big adventure, we meet wonderful characters and really real. What I like in Big Fish is the way Edward tells his stories, embellishing the facts, with a lot of embroidery, but finally the facts were real somehow, it makes things magical... I especially love the end, when Will himself tells his dad's last story, how he ends up changing into a big fish, and the moment where fantasy and reality meets with all the characters of his stories come to pay him their last respects.
It's a wonderful film, but despite the aspect of tale, we can find as in most Burton's works, a more philosophical message, a criticism of human beings, of society, especially a call for tolerance. Indeed, Edward is the most tolerant man, giants, freaks, witches, werewolves, no difference for him, we are all human beings. A call also for imagination, don't give up on your dreams, make them become reality, even if only for you.
Well, all that is only a personal vision of the film, of course. But in any case, I love it and I recommend it from the bottom of my heart. And what's great with Burton, it's that there are several levels of understanding, what makes his films within the reach of everyone, adults as well as children;o)
And for music-lovers, wonderful (like always!) compositions by Danny Elfman.
Note : Big Fish by Daniel Wallace has been waiting in my personal library for quite a long time, and maybe I should read it some time, ouch! too much books are waiting for me!