AN ADVENTURE AS BIG AS LIFE ITSELF?
Tall tales are a natural part of the South and the leading character in director Tim Burton’s fantastical film has made his whole life a tall tale. While his son (Billy Crudup) bitterly tries to make the dying father (Albert Finney) tell something believable about his life, we’re taken back to Edward Bloom’s youth – or rather the imaginative stories about it. We’re introduced to several colorful characters and episodes, such as the one where Bloom encounters a giant. The actors are marvelous, and the serious part of the film where Burton celebrates life and the power of imagination is moving, but it’s not like we’ve never seen this on screen before.
2003-U.S. 125 min. Color. Produced by Richard D. Zanuck, Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks. Directed by Tim Burton. Screenplay: John August. Novel: Daniel Wallace. Cinematography: Philippe Rousselot. Music: Danny Elfman. Cast: Ewan McGregor (Young Edward Bloom), Albert Finney (Old Edward Bloom), Billy Crudup (Will Bloom), Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Lohman… Robert Guillaume, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito, Marion Cotillard.
Trivia: Steven Spielberg allegedly considered directing the film. Later a Broadway musical.
Last word: “I was thinking a lot at the time, about how hard it is to communicate feelings in a parent-child relationship. I didn’t come from a very communicative family. I didn’t have a lot of verbal storytellers around me; I wasn’t a verbal person. My family maybe spoke ten sentences within a couple of years. We were the Ingmar Bergman family, with vacant stares across the table. So when I got the script, I felt it was an amazing way to explore and have that catharsis. It was a semi-cheap form of therapy for me.” (Burton, Film 4)