8.0/10
347,187
813 user 236 critic

Big Fish (2003)

Trailer
2:28 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
823 ( 24)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 62 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest
Drama | Horror | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, AKA Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop down in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett. Based on the hit Broadway musical.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman
Beetlejuice (1988)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A couple of recently deceased ghosts contract the services of a "bio-exorcist" in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton
Ed Wood (1994)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An ambitious but troubled movie director tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker
Dark Shadows (2012)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins, is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Earth is invaded by Martians with unbeatable weapons and a cruel sense of humor.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton
Chocolat (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina
Drama | Fantasy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

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:

 »
Edit

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:

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

Gross:

$66,257,002 (USA) (12 March 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | (8 channels)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

In an early scene Will Bloom is seen giving Ensure liquid to Ed Bloom, which is given to patients who cannot eat solid food. But in later scenes he is seen taking solid food despite of the fact that his cancer was irreversible and incurable, and hence he should have never been able to eat 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

Features Dog Day Afternoon (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Everyday
Written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty
Performed by Buddy Holly
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Tim Burton's Surprise Heartwarmer
16 February 2004 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

I approach Tim Burton films with a certain trepidation. Will it be "Edward Scissorhands" or "Batman II?" With Burton you could get a quirky comedy, a dark thriller, or sweet morality tale. And there's always the possibility of Danny DeVito chomping down on a raw fish.

"Big Fish" combines Burton's unusual humor with a heart-wrenching story of a father-son deathbed reconciliation. Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor share the role of Ed Bloom, one of the big fish from the movie's title while an SUV-sized catfish plays the other. Bloom is a metaphorical and literal big fish in the small pond of Ashton, Alabama in this tale told mostly through flashback. Jessica Lange plays his wife and Billy Crudup plays the son, Will, estranged from his father for the past three years. Father and son are reunited as Finney lies dying of cancer.

Ed Bloom has spent his life spinning his personal history into mythological proportions: an early encounter with a very tall man becomes a battle with a house-sized giant; a rural village is depicted as heaven on earth; military service during the Korean War morphs into a behind-the-lines mission that would make Duke Nukem proud. Originally a true believer, Will now knows everything his father has told him was not just an exageration or even a tall tale but an outright lie. In his effort to understand the truth behind his father's stories he learns to love the man as well as the mythology. And Burton delivers a terrific punchline at the end of the film that left me both tickled and weeping, a truly weird emotional state.

Burton deals with mythic themes in "Big Fish." Besides the surface story of the generational tension between father and son he explores the metaphor of the big-fish-in-a-small-pond by examining the impact Ed Bloom has had on the lives he's touched in his workaday contacts with colleagues, customers (he's a traveling salesman), and people in the small towns across the South. Not exactly "It's A Wonderful Life," he still manages to show how all of us -- even the little fish -- have profound effects on the people around us. And of course love -- unrequited and reciprocated -- control almost all of Ed's many adventures.

The acting is wonderful. You will actually believe two Brits and a Scot (Finney, Helena Bonham Carter, and McGregor) are natives of small town Alabama. Lange brings dignity and brio to the role of the long "suffering" wife -- and she still looks great(!)-- you believe she has had a long and loving life with Finney/McGregor. DeVito is a delight in the role of a circus ringmaster. But the scene-stealer is Bonham Carter in the dual role of Jenny and the crone witch.

I rated this movie ten stars and when you see it you'll do the same.


206 of 244 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
anyone else bored from this movie? shawn-donovan
Such a moving film jedi_R
What Burton film should I watch next? jimmyr5595
Morale? rongve_p
Only Tim Burton movie I really like... Its_in_Belgium
A masterpiece of a film broken231
Discuss Big Fish (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page