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Big Fish

Tim Burton's Big Fish is an engrossing, touching, and whimsical fable about a man who leads a storied life rivaling that of Baron Münchhausen and later reconciles that life with his skeptical son who yearns to know his father for real. Albert Finney is the larger-than-life Edward Bloom whose wanderlust takes him far from his tiny Alabama hometown so he won't ever feel stuck there as a big fish in a small pond. One day at the circus he spots the love of his life, Sandra (Jessica Lange), with whom he's determined to live out the rest of his years, through thick and thin. What makes this love story unusual is the amount of thick and thin the young Edward (Ewan McGregor) encounters, including a giant, a werewolf, a killer tree, a witch, and a big fish that slips away. Big Fish may pile on the fantasy but it keeps the scale human-sized throughout- plus relevant. Edward loves to tell stories involving these characters to anyone who will listen. Unfortunately, his tales try the patience of his son Will (Billy Crudup), who has heard them all too often before. It's not clear exactly why Will is so exasperated- dad's storytelling seems harmless enough- but it creates a rift in their relationship. As his father's health worsens later in life, however, Will tries to learn what lies beneath the façade of braggadocio. It's a shame that the flashbacks to Edward's life are so vibrant and interesting because they overshadow the evolution of the father-son relationship. Despite that minor defect, Big Fish features great talent in supporting roles, rich cinematography and a suitably sweeping score by Danny Elfman. It leaves a lasting impression in your mind about how to leave a lasting impression on others.