Edward Bloom is a liar. However, since he's an exceptionally creative liar, director Tim Burton has decided this is something to celebrate. According to this film, we ought to encourage people to make up stories about themselves because that just makes life so much more interesting.
Old Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) is dying, so when his son, William (Billy Crudup) comes to visit mom (Jessica Lange) and dad, he'd really like to get a handle on who his father really was before the old coot kicks off. Instead, he just gets more made-up stories.
Old Edward recounts when he was young Edward (Ewan McGregor) and how he lived a fanciful life where he made friends with giants and discovered towns that nobody else knew about because they were hidden deep within forests. Young Edward was admired by everybody who knew him, except for one guy, who ends up dating the young girl (Alison Lohman) Edward will eventually marry.
Since Burton has always identified himself as something of a misunderstood loner, it's curious that he doesn't identify with Edward's romantic rival, whom Edward essentially screws over. There's nothing to suggest that this guy does anything wrong until Edward starts hitting on his girl and then he gets kind of protective and obnoxious, but who wouldn't? Young Edward, on the other hand, is the guy who has it all and is worshipped by everyone, yet decides to steal his hapless rival's girlfriend just for sport. That would make most men a little cranky.
Isn't it interesting that suddenly the hero in Burton's story is the wildly creative storyteller who's a legend in his own mind? The loser is the guy the wildly creative storyteller walks all over. Gee, you think being in Hollywood has gone to Burton's head?
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