BIG  FISH    -  A  Narada Film Review

  BILLY CRUDUP   
  as William Bloom    
     
   ALABERT FINNEY   
            and
   JESSICA LANGE   
     
   HELENA BONHAM CARTER   
         as
   Jenny, and as the Witch
Big Fish - 2003   - Tim Burton-Director   &   Richard D Zanuck - Producer
    Once or twice a year a film on the order of magnitude of BIG FISH comes out, and we are reminded yet again of the difference between 'real storytelling' and 'Hollywood plot'.  And, as the casual observer might note, it takes place in "the South".  This is a true American Film Curiosity, which started with Gone With The Wind, and was then perpetuated by another classic, To Kill A Mocking Bird, and more recently, The Green Mile, and Monster's Ball and Cold Mountain.  All stories of the South, none the victims of cookie-cutter Hollywood plotting.  Perhaps Hollywood needs a new genre: Southern Nostalgia.  In BIG FISH, however, audiences are forewarned - if, in the first ten minutes, you are lulled into believing you are watching life in the slow lane, you'd better pay attention, because you are on a Magical Mystery Tour of subtleties which, if you let them, will creep right past you - remember, this is Director Tim Burton you're dealing with.
         And coming from Burton's twisted perspectives, we already knew as we went in to take our seats that we would be entertained - it was just a matter of waiting to see to what degree.  As it works out, we were entertained in a grand and unique style,  Which immediately, of course, begs the question as to why neither Albert Finney nor Helena Bonham Carter received Oscar nominations for "best supporting".  In her role as Jenny, Carter reminds us ever so much of the young Faye Dunaway.  If Finney never does anything else, he may deservedly rest happily on this performance.  Why they weren't nominated is a rhetorical question, really, when one considers that the Oscar presentations are meant to entertain, and to entertain best, one needs to showcase the 'popular' stars and to invite other 'popular' stars to make presentations.  The Oscars have had little to do with absolute talent or performances for many years, now.
         For those maintaining an archival DVD collection, additional stellar performances from Jessica Lange and Alison Lohman also contribute largely to making BIG FISH a keeper.
      Enduring Line or Phrase:  "...if nothing's going to change, I'd just as soon it didn't change in the way things haven't been changed in all these years."

Copyright 2004,    Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com
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