Every once in a good while, the impact of a particular entertainment format is wholly contingent upon the emotional tapestry the viewer/listener brings to it. this is a classic example. in one of the most un-burtoneque projects to come from tim burton, "big fish" is a mesmerizing fairy tale wonderfully reminicsent of the underrated "edward scissorhands" more than a decade ago. depending upon where you are emotionally, this can be not only a satisfying viewing experience but an equally thought-provoking one that, chances are, will leave an indelible impression. this time around tim burton abandons his usually dark fare for the southern tall tale. he brilliantly brings to realization this regional cultural phenomenom with aplomb and moreover, with no condescension whatsoever for a very important art form. as a southerner, i was quite pleased with the respect granted to an age-old southern tradition that shows us the consequences of not being able to see the forest for the trees. in a nutshell, the story follows a son's last attempts to discover who his father really is as the son insists that during his upbringing, his father has hidden his true self behind his tall tales. the son and the father have their final confrontation on the father's deathbed and it is here the son finally realizes the time he has wasted because of his "inability to see for looking." albert finney is simply captivating. i have never seen him in a southern role and he was just wonderful as were the supporting cast. while the brooding son, billy crudup, was most effective, this was indeed finney's moment and proved to be a fitting vehicle for his remarkable talents. ewan mcgregor personfies charm as the young edward bloom. this is a wonderful dissertaion on the intricate, intimate, and often complex father-son relationship. it is also a wonderful movie for families to share together. visually, burton put his stamp on it as he helped to realize edward bloom's (finney) tall tales as the special effects were dazzling and wonderful in helping the audience to see very well the kind of man edward bloom was. while the end of the movie was somehwat melancholy, it was right on target and did not descend into maudlin sentimentality - it proved to be the natural order of events. i highly recommend this as you will enjoy viewing this one over and over again. i have never been more pleased with a dvd purchase than i have with this one and suspect already as i write this review that it is steadily becoming one of my all time favorites, not only for its entertainment value but more so because of the valuable insight it provided into my own situation.