recommended viewing: Big Fish

Tonight I went to Tim Burton’s latest film, Big Fish. I highly recommend seeing this movie.

Many of the things I would want to say about this movie have already been said by Barbara Nicolosi, but a couple of additional comments:

The film is masterful storytelling – masterful in the way the Bible is, or the ancient historian Herodotus. Most people today would never accept Herodotus as a historian, but those are the people I would especially like to have sitting in front of Big Fish. Story is not something less than the facts, it is something more.

I began counting the number of homilies that could be drawn from the movie – and I stopped counting at 15. This is a movie with some wisdom in it.

The acting was brilliant… with the exception of one brief moment by Billy Crudup in the first ten minutes, and this was completely excusable because of the brilliance of the rest of the film. And probably the weak moment was due to a momentary slip in the editing room.

Visually, the movie was stunning, as one might expect from a Burton film. I was particularly interested in the way the movie depicted the human body, and the couple of “nude scenes” that will inevitably make some Christians uncomfortable. I count this movie among the few I have ever seen that included nudity in a non-violating way for both the actors & audience. Later this month, I will begin presenting a 15-week series on John Paul II’s TOB (Theology of the Body) at Family Theater in Hollywood, and I will definitely be citing this film as an example of several TOB themes.

I left the theater wondering why I plan to become a screenwriter, when I know that – even if something I write makes it to the screen someday – nothing I create will reach the level of artistry I witnessed in this film. I guess I will just stick to the maxim (from Chesterton? or Eliot?) that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

At any rate, this movie has my highest recommendation.

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