Movie Review: Big Fish
“Stories are our dreams, really,” says actor Ewan McGregor, who plays the adventurous young Edward Bloom in director Tim Burton’s fable-like family drama Big Fish. “That’s why we tell stories. They’re kind of what makes us interesting and connects us with one another from generation to generation.”

In this film, Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) has always been a teller of tall tales about his oversized life. McGregor plays the young Bloom, whose wanderlust led him on an unlikely journey from his small town in Alabama around the world and back again. His mythic exploits careen from the delightful to the delirious as he weaves epic tales about giants, blizzards, a witch and a Siamese- (or rather Korean-) twin lounge singer.

With these larger-than-life stories, Bloom charms almost everyone except for his estranged son, Will (Billy Crudup), who has left home to get out from under his father’s considerable shadow. But when the father falls ill, Will’s mother, Sandra (Jessica Lange), tries to reunite them, and Will must learn how to separate fact from fiction as he comes to terms with his father’s greatest feats and failings as a human being.

“The script moved me to tears every time I read it,” says producer Richard Zanuck. “Not only is it a story about fathers and sons, but there’s a great deal of fun in it as well – giants, witches, circus performers. It’s very entertaining as well as being a metaphor for living life to the fullest.”

McGregor also had a strong reaction to the script. “The first time I read the screenplay, it left me speechless,” he says. “It was so moving, with a power that derives from essentially being about the relationship between a father and a son. It reminded me of when I left Scotland, which is a really big deal for a Scot. Sometimes you have to leave the familiar to find out who you really are. I think the film will resonate with everyone who’s ever done that.”

Rated PG-13 for a fight scene, some images of nudity, and a suggestive reference. Recommended for mature kids ages 10 and up.