By EW Staff
November 25, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Big Fish: Zade Rosenthal
  • Movie

”Big Fish” is one of the 10 holiday movies we can’t wait to see

WHY WE CAN’T WAIT Nothing suits director Tim Burton (”Batman,” ”Sleepy Hollow”) so well as a broad canvas, a set of comically grotesque characters (in this case, circus folk and Southern-fried eccentrics), and a top-notch cast — Ewan McGregor, Billy Crudup, Albert Finney, Helena Bonham Carter, Jessica Lange, Steve Buscemi, and Danny DeVito.

SOURCE MATERIAL Daniel Wallace’s 1998 book ”Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions”

PLOT POINTS William Bloom (Crudup) returns to his Alabama hometown for one last attempt at untangling the factual from the fanciful in the tall tales told by dying dad (Finney, played in flashback by McGregor).

BURNING QUESTION Can Burton convince viewers — and Oscar voters — that he can behave like a grownup?

COME FOR Burton’s signature visual whimsy and fondness toward freaks

STAY FOR That tear-jerking deathbed scene between Finney and Crudup