Big Fish: Zade Rosenthal
Andrea Adams
April 30, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Danny Elfman’s Oscar-nominated score, described by director Tim Burton as ”truly emotional,” buoys the romantic dramedy Big Fish — a simple story, really, about the relationship between Edward Bloom, an eccentric father (Albert Finney), and his straitlaced son William (Billy Crudup). Burton’s absurdist flashback scenes entertainingly depict a young Edward (Ewan McGregor) meeting a witch, befriending a giant, and joining the circus. Ultimately, though, his reality-fantasy parallel falls short of delivering on his lofty ambitions: Tall tales get muddied, the characters of Edward’s wife (Jessica Lange) and friend (Burton’s real-life love interest Helena Bonham Carter) are underdeveloped, and the finale rings Hallmark card-ish.

The EXTRAS, meanwhile, are compelling: Character featurettes give great behind-the-scenes access, and a ”Burton Trivia Quiz” tests viewers’ knowledge of the enigmatic director.

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