Movie Review 2007 #161: Big Fish

Like Baron Munchausen, I was inspired to watch this thanks to an entry in Jay Lake’s Livejournal
Big Fish stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup and a variety of others.

Big Fish is a story about stories and myths and the relationship between a tale-telling father, dying (Albert Finney in the present, McGregor in the past) and his son (Crudup) who finally comes to understand his father through the fantastic stories he tells of his life.
And so we get to see a Baron Munchausen like backstory for the elder Ed Bloom. While it is revealed in the end that every story that he tells has a basis in fact, we get to see these stories in their mythic form. Ed Bloom has a colorful life, ranging from meeting a giant to visiting the perfect town, to rescuing a pair of Siamese twins.
There are lots of small roles for a bunch of actors in the film. Danny Devito, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Buscemi, and Jessica Lange help fill out the cast as the dying Bloom tells his son the myth of his life story. And for it being myths rather than straight facts, the young Bloom does indeed come to understand his father and the life.
It’s a storytelling movie. I didn’t warm to it the first time I saw it. This time, though, I grokked the movie much more fully, and enjoyed it a lot.