Throughout his life Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor) has always been a man of big appetites, enormous passions and tall tales. In his later years, portrayed by five-time Best Actor Oscar(r) nominee Albert Finney (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Erin Brockovich
, 2000), he remains a huge mystery to his son, William (Billy Crudup). Now, to get to know the real man, Will begins piecing together a true picture of his father from flashbacks of his amazing adventures in this marvel of a movie.
Somebody smart produced the director's commentary track for Big Fish
; they brought in an interviewer to keep Tim Burton on track, thus avoiding those moments when a director gapes silently at his movie, grasping for some fresh thought. This sense of control, however, fosters a somewhat corporate atmosphere, which also infests the typically fatuous featurettes about "The Character's Journey" and "The Filmmakers' Path." Which is not to say they're a waste: Ewan McGregor is simply the most charming man in the world; the various beasties in the movie are technically interesting; and there's an interesting bit about the author of the book and the screenwriter, usually two of the most ignored figures in cinema. There's also a mildly diverting trivia quiz about Tim Burton's earlier movies. --Bret Fetzer