Monday, July 27, 2015

Big Fish, a commentary

Tonight, I saw the movie Big Fish.
Big Fish (2003) Poster

I went in expecting a piece of southern gothic with some tall tales. What I got was much much bigger.

It's a movie about stories. About the stories we tell and the stories we become.  I knew how the story had to end, and I was not disappointed.

At one point, the hero says to his father, "You never told me one true thing."
And I yelled at the screen, "Everything he told you was true. It just wasn't all fact."

Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor turn in amazing performances as Edward Bloom.
Billy Crudup reminds me of Cillian Murphy, except the part where I don't want to punch him on principle. (Murphy has a Backpfeifengesicht, a face in need of a fist)

Jessica Lange is always good. And Helena Bonham Carter turns in one of her most understated performances. She's brilliant in a triple part, and explains to Will "There are only two women in your father's world, your mother and everyone else."

In In the Mouth of Madness, Sam Neil's John Trent is very big on reality. Until he is informed that "Reality is what we tell each other it is."

This is a gentler take on that idea. The reality of Edward Bloom's life meshes almost seamlessly with his imaginings.

"You do your best to corrupt them and fill their heads with nonsense. They turn out normal anyway."
I think that's my favorite line.

Tell your story. Make it big, make it bold. And if it needs singing conjoined twins, a giant a witch and a werewolf ringmaster, put them in.

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