This is probably the most mature movie Tim Burton has ever made. And when I say mature, I don’t mean it in the opposite of “juvenile” or “youthful”, because there are plenty of those moments in the movie. But for a fantastical movie that features giants, witches, and impossibly large fish, it definitely has a solid, thoughtful center: the father-son dynamic. A son feels alienated and isolated from his father because of his immature “fish tales”, he has to come to terms with his father’s life and his stories if he ever wants to really grow up. Ewan MacGregor and Albert Finney are a pair of show-stealers, Jessica Lange does a lot with a very small part, and Tim Burton finally uses his tics and trademarks to tell a story that is obviously his and still stands head and shoulders above most of them. This is probably my favourite of his films after Edward Scissorhands, and I think it would probably benefit from repeated viewings: there’s so much there, visually, I don’t think you could catch it all the first time.