What movie was that...?

14 November 2009

Big Fish

directed by Tim Burton

Tim Burton’s talent for tackling the strange and wonderful is immense. From the Easter egg colored horror of suburbia in Edward Scissorhands, to the freaky magic of Sweeney Todd, Burton’s hand can paint an oddball picture. When checking out a Tim Burton film, you have about a 50/50 shot of ending up with one that features Johnny Depp, but Billy Crudup (the blue guy from Watchman), Albert Finney (the crime boss in Miller’s Crossing) and Ewan McGregor (the smart ass from Shallow Grave) take the reins in Burton’s fairy tale as biography film, Big Fish. Will Bloom (Crudup) goes home to tend to his ailing father and get the truth out of him for once. Papa Ed Bloom (Finney is so good in a role that calls for so much) tells the story of his life as he saw it (McGregor plays the young Ed Bloom, packing a smile that could eclipse the sun and enough charm to make a folding chair swoon), with all the magic and exaggeration of a professional yarn spinner. Will can’t stomach the whimsy and demands the truth, and learns in the process exactly who his father is. This is about as close to actual reality that Burton will dare get, and the result is enormously satisfying. Jessica Lange is dazzling as Sandra Bloom, Ed’s wife, and Helena Bonham Carter brings her masterful talent to the role of the witch (who later becomes Ed’s friend, Jenny). Crudup is massively underrated, yet solidly performs in roles that other actors would be hard pressed to tackle. McGregor is a great actor, but he unfortunately doesn’t always make great decisions (still trying to forget about The Island? Me too). Rest assured, his role in Big Fish is as good as one can get. Finney is a mammoth talent, usually jumping off the screen with dynamism, which is what makes his virtually immobile and bed ridden performance so mind blowing in Big Fish. Burton is always most successful when dealing with estrangement and confusion, when blending fantasy and reality, and when it all comes to together, you don’t care which is which.

1 comment:

  1. thank you sir, as I said I want to see your pretty words critique some of my favorite movies. still remember the fight club conversations you started and the album reviews that I had to endure through. all in all I have to thank you for making me like a lot of artists.

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