Type to search


089: Big Fish — Tim Burton’s Best Southern Gothic Fantasy Film

Maximilian Rivera December 5, 2017

Big Fish is about a son trying to make peace with the fictional stories of his father’s life. It’s also one of the best Tim Burton movies ever made.

by Scott Tennant | @Breakdown_Scott

Premise: A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father’s life.

RottenTomatoes Score: 77% 

Tim Burton is a wildly popular director with mass audiences, but the Podcast Boys have never been sold. The one exception? Big Fish. This modern fairy tale led by Ewon McGregor, Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Alison Lohman, and a deep ensemble of talented character actors tugs on the heartstrings and delivers one of the most satisfying films of our countdown so far.
With a strong screenplay written by John August, Big Fish goes deep into fantasy while also presenting a slice-of-life in a Southern Gothic setting.

In this episode:

  • Scott finally watched Aliens. He gives his thoughts on it, and how it fared against the original film in the series.
  • Both of the Podcast Boys have seen Thor: Ragnorak; what did we think? We’re positive overall, but we did have a few issues.
  • Stranger Things season 2 found it’s way in for a bit
  • Max continues on Halt and Catch Fire, one of 2017’s most acclaimed shows

Questions we ask:

  • With us each having seen it a few times, does Big Fish’s emotional ending still hold up?
  • Is it possible to watch a beloved movie again with a more critical eye?
  • What does Tim Burton do here that we like so much more than his normal films?
  • How much do the nested stories and unreliable narrator add to the storytelling?
  • Did we cry?

And as usual, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below, or on Facebook at The Critical Breakdown’s page, or leave us a review on iTunes.

Max is a marketing copywriter by day, filmmaker and screenwriter by night. He resides in Charlotte, NC, and loves his dogs, watching movies, building LEGO sets, and eating food. Lots of food.You can find Max at his personal website and twitter.