After wasting his talent on Planet Of The Apes in 2001, director Tim Burton returns to form with the enchanting Big Fish, the finest film of his career. Based on the little known novel by Daniel Wallace, the movie charts a son's attempts to reconcile with his dying father. Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney shine as young and old incarnations of Edward Bloom, whose tall tales are at the heart of the film.
Bloom is a man who doesn't so much love the sound of his own voice as idolise it. His outlandish stories about his past amuse everyone. Everyone except neglected journalist son Will (Billy Crudup), that is. The film flits between the present-day - where Finney plays the ageing, bed-ridden Bloom - and a series of flashbacks, where the young Edward (played with seductively boyish glee by McGregor) embarks on a series of fantastical adventures.
"GETS EVERYTHING RIGHT"
Steven Spielberg was initially set to land Big Fish, but this is the one that got away. Which is good news for us, and great news for Tim Burton. The quirkysomething gets everything right here: his film is feelgood without being overly sentimental; romantic without being cloying; moving without being mawkish.
Both a celebration of the art of storytelling and a touching father-son drama, this is arguably the best use yet of CGI (computer-generated images) to enhance and enrich a movie - Big Fish cost $70 million to make, and it's all on the screen for your enjoyment.
Burton is aided by some wonderful performances; a moving and frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious script by John August (previously irresponsible for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle); and by his own boundless visual imagination. Big Fish really is a film you have to catch. Trust us, you'll be hooked. (That's more than enough fishing references - Ed.)