“Big Fish is about what’s real and what’s fantastic, what’s true and what’s not true, what’s partially true and how, in the end, it’s all true.”
Big Fish is a 2003 American fantasy adventure film based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Daniel Wallace. The film was directed by Tim Burton and stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, and Marion Cotillard. Other roles are performed by Helena Bonham Carter, Matthew McGrory, and Danny DeVito among others. Finney plays Edward Bloom, a former traveling salesman from the Southern United States with a gift for storytelling, now confined to his deathbed. Bloom’s estranged son, a journalist played by Crudup, attempts to mend their relationship as his dying father relates tall tales of his eventful life as a young adult, played by Ewan McGregor.
The film’s theme of reconciliation between a dying father and his son had special significance for Burton, as his father had died in 2000 and his mother in 2002, a month before he signed on to direct. Big Fish was shot on location in Alabama in a series of fairy tale vignettes evoking the tone of a Southern Gothic fantasy. The film received award nominations in multiple film categories, including four Golden Globe Award nominations, seven nominations from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, two Saturn Award nominations, and an Oscar and a Grammy Award nomination for Danny Elfman’s original score.