I finally caught up with this movie that I have wanted to see since it was released in the theaters. I generally like Tim Burton movies (OK, OK, I actually love Tim Burton movies, mostly -- he has had some dreadful misses -- but I didn't want to sound too much like a fangrrl. Too late now) and I adore Ewan McGregor, in spite of Star Wars Episodes Bad and Worse. I even like Helena Bonham Carter, even though she hasn't been very fortunate in her choice of roles, so much (Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, anyone?); I guess they can't all be Fight Club.
So I kind of knew what this movie was about and had read generally positive reviews and I was still somewhat trepidatious going into it. Is this how I wanted to be spending my time?
No worries... it is about as perfect a film as I can remember in a long time, and my only regret is catching it on the TiVO and having to watch it in full screen, an abomination which should never, ever be allowed and yet somehow perpetuates from day to day, in spite of the stupidity of it.
Reading over some of those reviews, I can see the validity of their criticisms: pacing seemed odd, the editing sometimes stifling. But for my mood, this exploration of a father's life through the mechanism of the skeptical son was exactly right. It is very difficult for a son to truly know his father, as I am finally learning now to know my mother. There is a softening that is required, an acceptance that what they seem to be, they are... and more; Will's fumbled iceburg metaphor is of course apt.
I was thinking, I wish I had seen this sooner -- but if I had, I wouldn't have understood it so well. We are always drawn to the familiar, it evokes that feeling, Yes, that's exactly right, that's what happened to me! or maybe just I understand that, I've done that, too. That's Big Fish for me. I understand Will, and I understand Edward even more, in ways that I wouldn't have, last year. I'm glad I only saw this just now.