The story of a braggart and exaggerator Edward Bloom and his son, William, who after a long estrangement returns home only to learn his father is dying of cancer. Desperate to know the complicated man before it's too late, William sets about trying to unravel fact from fiction.

  • 2 hr 5 minNR
  • Dec 10, 2003
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • ALBERT FINNEY

    ALBERT FINNEYActor

    The son of a Lancashire bookmaker, Albert Finney came to motion pictures via the theatre. In 1956, he won a scholarship to RADA where his fellow alumni included Peter O'Toole and Alan Bates. He joined the Birmingham Repertory where he excelled in plays by William Shakespeare. A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Finney understudied Laurence Olivier at Stratford-upon-Avon, eventually acquiring a reputation as 'the new Olivier'. He first came to critical attention by creating the title role in Keith Waterhouse's "Billy Liar" on the London stage. His film debut soon followed with The Entertainer (1960) by Tony Richardson with whom had earlier worked in the theatre. With the changing emphasis in 60s British cinema towards gritty realism and working-class milieus, Finney's typical screen personae became good-looking, often brooding proletarian types and rebellious anti-heroes as personified by his Arthur Seaton in Karel Reisz's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960). His exuberant defining role, however, was in the bawdy period romp Tom Jones (1963) in which Finney revealed a substantial talent for comedy. In the same vein, he scored another hit opposite Audrey Hepburn in the charming marital comedy Two for the Road (1967). By 1965, Finney had branched out into production, setting up Memorial Enterprises in conjunction with Michael Medwin. In 1968, he directed himself in Charlie Bubbles (1968) and three years later produced the Chandleresque homage Gumshoe (1971), in which he also starred as Eddie Ginley, a bingo-caller with delusions of becoming a private eye. From 1972 to 1975, Finney served as artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre. His intermittent forays to the screen confirmed him as a versatile international actor of note, though not what one might describe as a mainstream star. His roles have ranged from Ebenezer Scrooge in the musical version of Scrooge (1970) to Daddy Warbucks in Annie (1982) and (in flamboyant over-the-top make-up) Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (1974). He appeared as Minister of Police Joseph Fouché in Ridley Scott's superb period drama The Duellists (1977) and as a grandiloquent Shakespearean actor in The Dresser (1983) for which he received an Oscar nomination. For the small screen Finney essayed Pope John Paul II (1984) and was a totally believable Winston Churchill in the acclaimed The Gathering Storm (2002). His final movie credit was in the James Bond thriller Skyfall (2012). Finney was five-times nominated for Academy Awards in 1964, 1975, 1984, 1985 and 2001. He won two BAFTA Awards in 1961 and 2004. True to his working-class roots, he spurned a CBE in 1980 and a knighthood in 2000, later explaining his decision by stating that the 'Sir thing' "slightly perpetuates one of our diseases in England, which is snobbery". Albert Finney was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2011. He died on February 7 2019 at a London hospital from a chest infection at the age of 82. Upon his death, John Cleese described him as "the best" and "our greatest actor".
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  • Ewan McGregor

    Ewan McGregorActor

    Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents encouraged him to leave school and pursue his acting goals rather than be unhappy. McGregor studied drama for a year at Kirkcaldly in Fife, then enrolled at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama for a three-year course. He studied alongside Daniel Craig and Alistair McGowan, among others, and left right before graduating after snagging the role of Private Mick Hopper in Dennis Potter's six-part Channel 4 series Lipstick on Your Collar (1993). His first notable role was that of Alex Law in Shallow Grave (1994), directed by Danny Boyle, written by John Hodge and produced by Andrew Macdonald. This was followed by The Pillow Book (1996) and Trainspotting (1996), the latter of which brought him to the public's attention. He is now one of the most critically acclaimed actors of his generation, and portrays Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first three Star Wars episodes. McGregor is married to French production designer Eve Mavrakis, whom he met while working on the television series Kavanagh QC (1995). They married in France in the summer of 1995, and have four daughters. McGregor formed a production company, with friends Jonny Lee Miller, Sean Pertwee, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Damon Bryant, Bradley Adams and Geoff Deehan, called "Natural Nylon", and hoped it would make innovative films that do not conform to Hollywood standards. McGregor and Bryant left the company in 2002. He was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to drama and charity. Ewan made his directorial debut with American Pastoral (2016), an adaptation of Philip Roth's book, in which Ewan also starred. In 2018 McGregor won an Golden Globe for his work in the TV Series Fargo.
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  • Helena Bonham Carter

    Helena Bonham CarterActor

    Helena Bonham Carter is an actress of great versatility, one of the UK's finest and most successful. Bonham Carter was born May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England, the youngest of three children of Elena (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant banker. Through her father, she is the great-granddaughter of former Prime Minister Herbert H. Asquith, and her blue-blooded family tree also contains Barons and Baronesses, diplomats, and a director, Bonham Carter's great-uncle Anthony Asquith, who made Pygmalion (1938) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), among others. Cousin Crispin Bonham-Carter is also an actor. Her maternal grandfather, Eduardo Propper de Callejón, was a Spanish diplomat who was awarded the honorific Righteous Among the Nations, by Israel, for helping save Jews during World War II (Eduardo's own father was a Czech Jew). Helena's maternal grandmother, Hélène Fould-Springer, was from an upper-class Jewish family from France, Austria, and Germany, and later converted to her husband's Catholic faith. Bonham Carter experienced family dramas during her childhood, including her father's stroke - which left him wheelchair-bound. She attended South Hampstead High School and Westminster School in London, and subsequently devoted herself to an acting career. That trajectory actually began in 1979 when, at age thirteen, she entered a national poetry writing competition and used her second place winnings to place her photo in the casting directory "Spotlight." She soon had her first agent and her first acting job, in a commercial, at age sixteen. She then landed a role in the made-for-TV movie A Pattern of Roses (1983), which subsequently led to her casting in the Merchant Ivory films A Room with a View (1985), director James Ivory's tasteful adaptation of E.M. Forster's novel, and Lady Jane (1986), giving a strong performance as the uncrowned Queen of England. She had roles in three other productions under the Merchant-Ivory banner (director Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala): an uncredited appearance in Maurice (1987), and large roles in Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991) and Howards End (1992). Often referred to as the "corset queen" or "English rose" because of her early work, Bonham Carter continued to surprise audiences with magnificent performances in a variety of roles from her more traditional corset-clad character in The Wings of the Dove (1997) and Shakespearian damsels to the dark and neurotic anti-heroines of Fight Club (1999). Her acclaimed performance in The Wings of the Dove (1997) earned her a Best Actress Academy Award nomination, a Golden Globe Best Actress nomination, a BAFTA Best Actress nomination, and a SAG Awards Best Actress nomination. It also won her a Best Actress Award from the National Board of Review, the Los Angeles Film Critics, the Boston Society Film Critics, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Texas Society of Film Critics, and the Southeastern Film Critics Association. In the late 1990s, Bonham Carter embarked on the next phase of her career, moving from capable actress to compelling star. Audiences and critics had long been enchanted by her delicate beauty, evocative of another time and place. Her late '90s and early and mid 2000s roles included Mick Jackson's Live from Baghdad (2002), alongside Michael Keaton, receiving a nomination for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe; Paul Greengrass' The Theory of Flight (1998), in which she played a victim of motor neurone disease; Trevor Nunn's Twelfth Night or What You Will (1996), in which she played Olivia; opposite Woody Allen in his Mighty Aphrodite (1995); Mort Ransen's Margaret's Museum (1995); Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994); and Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet (1990). Other notable credits include her appearance with Steve Martin in Novocaine (2001), Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes, in which she played an ape, Thaddeus O'Sullivan's The Heart of Me (2002), opposite Paul Bettany, and Big Fish (2003), her second effort with Tim Burton, in which she appeared as a witch. In between her films, Helena has managed a few television appearances, which include her portrayal of Jacqui Jackson in Magnificent 7 (2005), the tale of a mother struggling to raise seven children - three daughters and four autistic boys; as Anne Boleyn in the two-parter biopic of Henry VIII starring Ray Winstone; and as Morgan Le Fey, alongside Sam Neill and Miranda Richardson, in Merlin. Earlier television appearances include Michael Mann's Miami Vice (1984) as Don Johnson's junkie fiancée, and as a stripper who wins Rik Mayall's heart in Dancing Queen (1993). Helena has also appeared on stage, in productions of Trelawney of the Wells, The Barber of Seville, House of Bernarda Alba, The Chalk Garden, and Woman in White. Bonham Carter was nominated for a Golden Globe for the fifth time for her role in partner Tim Burton's film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), for which Burton and co-star Johnny Depp were also nominated. For the role, she was awarded Best Actress at the Evening Standard British Film Awards 2008. Other 2000s work includes playing Mrs Bucket in Tim Burton's massive hit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), providing the voices for the aristocratic Lady Campanula Tottington in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) and for the eponymous dead heroine in Tim Burton's spooky Corpse Bride (2005), and co-starring in Conversations with Other Women (2005) opposite Aaron Eckhart. After their meeting while filming Planet of the Apes (2001), Bonham Carter and Tim Burton made seven films together. They lived in adjoining residences in London, shared a connecting hallway, and have two children: Billy Ray Burton, born in 2003, and Nell Burton, who was born in 2007. Ironically, a mutual love of Sweeney Todd was part of the initial attraction for the pair. Bonham Carter has said in numerous interviews that her audition process for the role of Mrs. Lovett was the most grueling of her career and that, ultimately, it was Sondheim who she had to convince that she was right for the role.
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  • JESSICA LANGE

    JESSICA LANGEActor

    Jessica Lange was born in 1949, in Cloquet, Minnesota, USA, where her father worked as a traveling salesman. She obtained a scholarship to study art at the University of Minnesota, but instead went to Paris to study drama. She moved to New York, working as a model, until producer Dino De Laurentiis cast her as the female lead in King Kong (1976). The film attracted much unfavorable comment and, as a result, Lange was off the screen for three years. She was given a small but showy part in Bob Fosse's All That Jazz (1979), before giving a memorable performance in Bob Rafelson's The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), as an adulterous waitress. The following year, she won rave reviews for her exceptional portrayal of actress Frances Farmer in Frances (1982) and a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her work in Sydney Pollack's Tootsie (1982) (as a beautiful soap-opera actress). She was also outstanding as country singer Patsy Cline in Karel Reisz's Sweet Dreams (1985) and as a lawyer who defends her father and discovers his past in Music Box (1989). Other important films include Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear (1991) (as a frightened housewife) and Tony Richardson's Blue Sky (1994), for which she won a Best Actress Academy Award as the mentally unbalanced wife of a military officer. She made her Broadway debut in 1992, playing "Blanche" in Tennessee Williams "A Streetcar Named Desire".
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  • Marion Cotillard

    Marion CotillardActor

    Academy Award-winning actress Marion Cotillard was born on September 30, 1975 in Paris. Cotillard is the daughter of Jean-Claude Cotillard, an actor, playwright and director, and Niseema Theillaud, an actress and drama teacher. Her father's family is Breton. Raised in Orléans, France, she made her acting debut as a child with a role in one of her father's plays. She studied drama at the Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique in Orléans. After small appearances and performances in theater, Cotillard had occasional and minor roles in TV series such as Highlander (1992) and Extrême limite (1994), but her career as a film actress began in the mid-1990s. While still a teenager, Cotillard made her cinema debut at the age of 18 in the film L'histoire du garçon qui voulait qu'on l'embrasse (1994), and had small but noticeable roles in films such as Arnaud Desplechin's My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument (1996) and Coline Serreau's comedy La belle verte (1996). In 1996, she had her first lead role in the TV film Chloé (1996), playing the title role - a teenage runaway who is forced into prostitution. Cotillard co-starred opposite Anna Karina, the muse of the Nouvelle Vague. In 1997, she won her first film award at the Festival Rencontres Cinématographiques d'Istres in France, for her performance as the young imprisoned Nathalie in the short film Affaire classée (1997). Her first prominent screen role was Lilly Bertineau in Gérard Pirès's box-office hit Taxi (1998), a role which she reprised in two sequels: Taxi 2 (2000) and Taxi 3 (2003), this role earned her first César award nomination (France's equivalent to the Oscar) for Most Promising Actress in 1999. In 1999, Cotillard starred as Julie Bonzon in the Swiss war drama War in the Highlands (1998). For her performance in the film, she won the Best Actress award at the Autrans Film Festival in France. In 2001, Marion starred in Pretty Things (2001) as the twin sisters Marie and Lucie, and was nominated for her second César award for Most Promising Actress. Cotillard's breakthrough in France came in 2003, when she starred in Yann Samuell's dark romantic comedy Love Me If You Dare (2003), in which she played Sophie Kowalsky, the daughter of Polish immigrants who lives a love-hate relationship with her childhood friend. The film was a box-office hit in France, became a cult film abroad and led Cotillard to bigger projects. Her first Hollywood movie was Tim Burton's Big Fish (2003), in which she played Joséphine, the wife of William Bloom (played by Billy Crudup). A few years later, Marion starred in Ridley Scott's A Good Year (2006) playing Fanny Chenal, a French café owner who falls in love with Russell Crowe's character. In 2004, she won the Chopard Thophy of Female Revelation at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2005, Cotillard won the César award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance of Tina Lombardi in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement (2004). In 2007, Cotillard received international recognition for her iconic portrayal of Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose (2007). Director Olivier Dahan cast Cotillard to play the legendary French singer because to him, her eyes were like those of "Piaf". The fact that she can sing also helped Cotillard land the role of "Piaf", although most of the singing in the film is that of Piaf's. The role won Cotillard the Academy Award for Best Actress along with a César, a Lumière Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe. That made her only the second actress to win an acting Oscar performing in a language other than English next to Sophia Loren (Two Women (1960)). Only two male performers (Roberto Benigni for Life Is Beautiful (1997) and Robert De Niro for The Godfather: Part II (1974)) have won an Oscar for solely non-English parts. Trevor Nunn called her portrayal of "Piaf" "one of the greatest performances on film ever". At the Berlin International Film Festival, where the film premiered, Cotillard was given a 15-minute standing ovation. When she won the César, Alain Delon presented the award and announced the winner as "La Môme Marion" (The Kid Marion), he also praised her at the stage saying: "Marion, I give you this César. I think this César is for a great great actress, and I know what I'm talking about". Cotillard has worked much more frequently in English-language movies following her Academy Award recognition. In 2009, she acted opposite Johnny Depp in Michael Mann's Public Enemies (2009), and later that year played Luisa Contini in Rob Marshall's musical Nine (2009) and received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. Time magazine ranked her as the fifth best performance by a female in 2009. The following year, she took on the main antagonist role, Mal, in Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010), and in 2011 she had memorable parts in Midnight in Paris (2011) and Contagion (2011) and reteamed with Christopher Nolan in The Dark Knight Rises (2012). In 2011 and 2012 respectively, Cotillard appeared on the top of Le Figaro's list of the highest paid actors in France, it was the first time in nine years that a female topped the list. Cotillard was also the highest paid foreign actress in Hollywood. In 2012, Cotillard received wide-spread critical acclaim for her role as the legless orca trainer Stéphanie in Rust and Bone (2012). The film was a box office hit in France and received a ten-minute standing ovation at the end of its screening at the 65th Cannes Film Festival. Cotillard won the Globe de Cristal (France's equivalent to the Golden Globe), the Étoile d'Or award and was nominated for the Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA, Critics' Choice and César Awards for her performance in the film. Cate Blanchett wrote an op-ed for Variety praising Cotillard's performance in "Rust and Bone", the two actresses competed for the Academy Awards for Best Actress in 2008, Cate was nominated for her performance in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) and Marion for her performance in La Vie en Rose (2007) and Cotillard won the Oscar. She had her first leading role in an American movie in 2013, in James Gray's The Immigrant (2013), in which she played Ewa Cybulska, a Polish immigrant who wants to experience the American dream. Cotillard received wide-spread acclaim for her performance in the film at the 66th Cannes Film Festival, where the film premiered, and also won several critics awards. In 2014, Cotillard played Sandra in the Belgian film Two Days, One Night (2014) by the Dardenne brothers. Her performance was unanimously praised at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, earned several critics awards, Cotillard won her first European Award for Best Actress and also received her second Oscar nomination and her sixth César award nomination. In 2015, she played Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender in Justin Kurzel's Macbeth (2015) and voiced two animated movies: The Little Prince (2015) in which she voiced The Rose, and April and the Extraordinary World (2015), in which she voiced the lead role, Avril. Her 2016 included Nicole Garcia's From the Land of the Moon (2016), Xavier Dolan's It's Only the End of the World (2016), Justin Kurzel's Assassin's Creed (2016), in which she worked again with her Macbeth co-star Michael Fassbender; and Robert Zemeckis's Allied (2016), with Brad Pitt.
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  • Missi Pyle

    Missi PyleActor

    Missi Pyle was born Andrea Kay Pyle on November 16, 1972 in Houston, Texas, and was raised in Memphis, Tennessee. The daughter of Linda and Frank Pyle, she has four older siblings, sisters Debbie and Julie, and brothers Sam and Paul. Pyle attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated in 1995. Since then, Pyle has had a significant career in many films and television series. She has also established in parallel a singing career as a member of the country-rock band Smith & Pyle with actress Shawnee Smith. Pyle has started an acting career playing a minor role in the comedy film As Good as It Gets (1997) starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. Her following notable roles were in the sci-fi parody Galaxy Quest (1999), Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002) where she played her first role as a villain, Tim Burton films Big Fish (2003) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) starring Johnny Depp and Christopher Lee, Just My Luck (2006) starring Lindsay Lohan, and Soccer Mom (2008) where she had a double role. Pyle has also played guest roles on many television series such as Mad About You (1992) also starring Helen Hunt, Frasier (1993), Friends (1994) in the episode "The One with Ross's Teeth", Ally McBeal (1997), three episodes of Two and a Half Men (2003), three episodes of Boston Legal (2004), Grey's Anatomy (2005), two episodes of Heroes (2006) and two episodes of The Mentalist (2008). Pyle is also an occasional voice actress, and has voiced characters in one episode of series Family Guy (1999) and two episodes of American Dad! (2005). Pyle began a career as a singer when she met Shawnee Smith in 2007 while filming an ABC comedy pilot. Pyle stated that her dream was to be in a rock band, and Smith gave her the opportunity by creating the country-rock band Smith & Pyle in Los Angeles, California. Their debut album "It's OK to Be Happy" (2008) was recorded in Joshua Tree, California and was released under their own record label when they became business partners. Their first live performance was in Texas on January 18, 2008 and since then, the band performed in many other states, especially in West Virginia, until May 29, 2010 in California. In 2011, the actresses officially disbanded before their second album was completed.
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Cast & Crew photos provided by TMDb.