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Big Fish (2003)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 303,862 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

The joke with the elephant defecating while Edward daydreams was unscripted. The filming crew found it hilarious, and quickly zoomed out to get the whole thing. See more »

Goofs

Will and Josephine live in Paris as the movie begins. As they enter their apartment, they carry paper grocery bags. No such bags are used in France. Since the 1970s, all French supermarkets and grocery stores have been handing out plastic bags. 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

References Smallville (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Man of the Hour
Written by Eddie Vedder
Produced by Adam Kasper
Performed by Pearl Jam
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Lying as an Art Form
8 August 2004 | by (Lafayette, IN) – See all my reviews

What do you say about this movie?

I am at a total loss to describe it. The concept itself, a son tries to come to terms with his dying father that he knows nothing about but an enormous catalog of unbelievable stories, doesn't sound very promising. It sounds like a tired old formula, and I expected such when the rental started playing

It's not.

Werewolves, giants, witches, siamese twins, bank robbers, hidden cities, sirens, etc. are all present in the fantasy, but they seem unremarkably to be part of the life of an otherwise ordinary traveling salesman. Whether they really are or not is never made completely clear, but that's the rub.

I once read a review by Harlan Ellison in which the main point was how a well told lie illuminates the truth in far better clarity than a simple recitation of the facts ever can. At one point in the film, the questing son remarks to his bed-ridden father that he's heard all of his stories thousands of times, and he has know idea who his father really is. The father's reply is, `I've never been anybody but me from the day I was born. If you don't know who I am, that's your failing, not mine.' Later investigations make the point clearer. I'll bet Ellison loved this movie. It is an extraordinary lie.

Did I like the film? You bet. It's Tim Burton's best work without a doubt. Is it for everybody? Probably not. Many will find it confusing and pointless, but good fantasy is like that. All I can say is, relax and let it happen. You won't regret it.


312 of 364 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Such a moving film jedi_R
anyone else bored from this movie? shawn-donovan
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