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Big Fish (2003)

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A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life.



(novel), (screenplay)
757 ( 85)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 62 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Beamen (as Loudon Wainwright)


United Press International journalist Will Bloom and his French freelance photojournalist wife Josephine Bloom, who is pregnant with their first child, leave their Paris base to return to Will's hometown of Ashton, Alabama on the news that his father, Edward Bloom, stricken with cancer, will soon die, he being taken off chemotherapy treatment. Although connected indirectly through Will's mother/Edward's wife, Sandra Bloom, Will has been estranged from his father for three years since his and Josephine's wedding. Will's issue with his father is the fanciful tales Edward has told of his life all his life, not only to Will but the whole world. As a child when Edward was largely absent as a traveling salesman, Will believed those stories, but now realizes that he does not know his father, who, as he continues to tell these stories, he will never get to know unless Edward comes clean with the truth before he dies. On the brink of his own family life beginning, Will does not want to be the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran pez  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$207,377 (USA) (12 December 2003)


$66,257,002 (USA) (12 March 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | (8 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Daniel Wallace: The author of the original book appears as Sandra's economics professor at Auburn. See more »


In the "frozen" circus, a woman blinks to Ed's right as he reaches the floor level. See more »


[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 »


Spoofed in Open Season (2006) See more »


Written by Jacques Offenbach
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A wonderful tale about life's magic
27 January 2007 | by (Romania) – See all my reviews

Subtle, delicate, touching and fascinating pledge for the life as fruit of dream. About the ambiguous taste of imagination and about existence like a spectacular trip. About desire and reality like warm bread.

The director of "Big Fish" is Tom Burton. It is only decent definition of a film -mixture between childhood and small miracles, about a special image of ordinaries gestures and about hope in eccentric aspects. The texture is same of grandmother's tales in Christamas Eve or Sunday morning. A brave hero, strange village, temptation and huge love, success and discoveries, miracles and public,secret sense of life and courage. So, in many cases, the reality is only boring passage and the dream, the childish game, the sound of angel's voice or the strange facts are heart of magnificent act of contemplation.

It is a moral story but, in same measure is source of a way to look the world. The life is not a punish or bag of routine. The faith is not only part of a relation with God but with yourself. The others are, in great measure, parts of funny miracle and ineffable expectation.

The Ewan Mc Gregor acting is brilliant. Nuances, accents, inflexion of words, smile or gestures are bricks of a magnificent character, touching, warm, credible. In some moments, the film is spectacular dialog between McGregor and Albert Finney interpretation.

In fact, "Big Fish" is a tale. A fairy tale about life's magic out of words or exterior facts.

65 of 97 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Any other movies like this one? josh-the-winter
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