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Big Fish (2003)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 303,928 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 789 user | 233 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

A son tries to learn more about his dying father by reliving stories and myths he told about his life.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Don Price - Age 18-22
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Beamen (as Loudon Wainwright)
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Storyline

The story revolves around a dying father and his son, who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the stories he has gathered over the years. The son winds up re-creating his father's elusive life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father's great feats and his great failings. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An adventure as big as life itself.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a fight scene, some images of nudity and a suggestive reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran pez  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$592,635 (Japan) (14 May 2004)

Gross:

$3,559,255 (Japan) (18 June 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | (8 channels)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Campbell's book, "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" appears in this film. It is shown first on a sleeping Edward Bloom (before being picked up and placed on the nightstand by Josephine) and then later it's still on the nightstand during a scene between Ed and Will. Daniel Wallace is an outspoken fan of Campbell's. See more »

Goofs

When Edward is in Spectre having lunch together with Norther Winslow and the mayor, Norther is holding his cup with both hands. When the camera goes down under the table to shoot Jenny while she steals Edward's shoes, Norther has his own hand close to his knee. In the very next shot Norther Winslow is holding his cup with both hands again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Ed Bloom: There are some fish that cannot be caught. It's not that they are faster or stronger than other fish, they're just touched by something extra.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Columbia logo runs in reverse. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Take Me Somewhere Nice (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

All Shook Up
Written by Elvis Presley and Otis Blackwell
Performed by Elvis Presley
Courtesy of BMG Strategic Marketing Group
Under license from BMG Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Very sweet, imaginative story despite lacking a strong conclusion
8 February 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Will Bloom feels like he doesn't really know his father - his habit of telling exaggerated and untrue stories instead of the truth. They don't speak for several years until Will hears that Ed is on his deathbed and returns home. He hopes to find out the truth behind the stories but can only get more of the same without doing some digging.

Even having watched the trailer I was unsure exactly what this film was about, but I trusted that Burton's imagination would carry it. Having seen it, the film can best be described as being about story telling in that the film is more about the wonder of the stories told than the actual narrative in terms of start/middle/end. In terms of the traditional idea of narrative, the film is not perfect - it is not as meaningful or as satisfying as I would have hoped, and this is shown in an ending that, although sweet, is not as neat as I would have hoped. However the telling - that's where it is at.

The stories told are wonderfully whimsical and amusing, like the film states the stories have elements of truth but also be coloured by Bloom to add life to them. For me, it was very simple to get involved in the tall tales and I was held in the spell of Ed's stories easily - even thought it never came to a `real' solution I was still captivated by just how sweet and imaginative it all was. If it sounds like I'm having trouble putting my words together it is because I found the film quite hard to quantify - all I know is that I found the whole experience to be very sweet and enjoyable despite it not really amounting to much in the grand scheme of things. In this regard the film is a consistently imaginative fantasy film that is gently humorous and outright funny at times.

The cast are pretty good. I was originally a little put off by McGregor's Alabama accent and it took me a minute to get past it, but other that his performance was very good and he helped create the film's mood of wonder and whimsy. I think both McGregor and Finney needed to have that sort of accent

  • I don't know why but it is a storyteller's accent and it does help the


material. Finney is good and manages to keep the spirit of McGregor's character going despite not being surrounded by the images to support him. The support cast works well whether they be tall giants or well-known cameos from Buscemi, Carter and Devito. Lange, Crudup and Cotillard are all good but it is easily McGregor and Finney's film.

Overall some will find the lack of structure and real substance to be a problem - after all, this is a film about tall tales and not everyone will be able to enjoy that. However this is a wonderfully light and fun bit of whimsy that is a lot better than I expected it to be. While it may not amount to a great deal more than that, it can still be enjoyed for what it is - a great fun story!


76 of 139 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Such a moving film jedi_R
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