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Big Eyes

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Big Eyes (2014)

December. 24,2014
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A drama centered on the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.


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Please don't spend money on this.


Instead, you get a movie that's enjoyable enough, but leaves you feeling like it could have been much, much more.


In truth, there is barely enough story here to make a film.


The film makes a home in your brain and the only cure is to see it again.


I recently watched Ed Wood which is a biopic Tim Burton did 20 years prior to this. It's almost astounding how different they are. In Big Eyes the characters are charmless, the story is bland and even the overall look of the movie has no discernible qualities.Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are fine but they certainly don't elevate any of this decidedly mediocre material. Everyone appears to be coasting through this movie. The director, the cinematographer and the supporting cast are doing no more than getting the job done.I think it did a good job of portraying that style of art becoming popular and the overall cheapening of what she was creating. But it never wants to present her as a real artist. It more treats it like a parlour trick.It's difficult to map the exact movie where Tim Burton became mediocre but this one is a great example of why I don't usually don't make a point to watch his films anymore. They don't feel like his movies anymore right down to the stories and the set design.Re-watch Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood or even Sleepy Hollow before you consider bothering with this.


Loosely based on a "real" story, the plot is about Margaret, a divorced mother and the painter of kitsch big-eyed children, reproduced on countless every-day items that infested the markets some decades ago. For many years Margaret allowed her second husband, Walter Keane, to claim authorship for her work, while she churned out one canvas after the other and lied to everybody.I am not a Burton's fan and I watched this at home, because it did not seem worth of a cinema outing. I also find those kiddies'paintings very kitsch and did not care much about the author, therefore my expectations were low. Turns out, not low enough.Amy Adams is a good actress, but even she cannot make a sympathetic character out of a woman who - allegedly - lied to her own daughter for years and secretly painted hundreds of canvas of creepy kids to please her hubby. How did she do that? Apparently Margaret's studio was a locked room and her daughter did not found that weird….Christoph Waltz is unfortunately in full sociopath-Hans Landa mood, therefore unbearable. I never liked him much and I positively detested this interpretation. The courtroom scene is hard to bear. It was not Johnny Depp playing weirdo yet again in a Burton movie, but that did not improve the plot.I am not sure what would constitute a spoiler for this, since the plot is so bad and the movie irrelevant. However, I will not disclose the "surprise ending", even if you can find out what happened with a simple search.


The truth will always come out, that's what this movie shows. The truth resident in Margaret's heart could not be suppressed, only expressed in the eyes of those haunting paintings that touched the nerves and hearts of the world. The truth about her husband's deceit, his manipulation of his once innocent wife comes out in open court and then his self-deceit and Walter Mitty-esque character unfolds before the world's eyes. All it takes is for the true artist to pick up a paintbrush for an hour. The truth about what really matters in this life, in being true to others, being true to our children, those nearest and dearest, being true to oneself and being true to the values of the human race is what is really important and lasting; this is what this movie is about. Art is all about expressing how we feel, truth is how we should live, and this movie shows the way to the truth, if only we would but take it!

Thomas Drufke

Tim Burton's work usually sparks a divisive feeling amongst fans, but it's not often I feel so torn about one of his films. On one hand it's an extraordinary story which I'm glad was told on the big screen, but I don't know that Burton was the right man for the job.Margaret Keane is truly one of the most treasured artists of the last century. Her work with the 'Big Eyes' paintings are immensely popular, but it wasn't always her who took the credit. Her husband, Walter Keane, played by Christoph Waltz, claimed to be the artist behind the big eyes for a decade. This secret damaged Margaret's relationship with her daughter and her friends, and it's the basis for Burton's colorful film.The problem is that this film is trying to literally and metaphorically paint too many pictures. The tone is all over the place. It's a biographical film by nature, a comedy or musical according the golden globes, and even a horror film in one stupendously ridiculous scene. Okay, the last two are a far reach for several reasons, but Burton never really manages to nail down exactly how he wishes to tell the story. And that's unfortunate, because it's a fascinating one.With that said, Amy Adams is one of the few bright spots here. Not like that's surprisingly, considering she's been nominated for an Oscar 5 times, but it's worth mentioning. As she has done so many times, balancing strength and vulnerability is one of her finest attributes as an actress, and that's on display here. She's just so dang likable.Perhaps, that's also because Waltz is so far out of place here. It honestly feels like Burton asked him to bring his brilliant portrayal of Hans Landa into a PG-13 biographical drama. I don't know Walter Keane in real life, but I do know when an actor is acting in a completely different movie than the rest of his fellow actors. Whether it was Burton or Waltz's fault, the performance wasn't anything to ride home about.It's unfortunate just how awkward and tonally inconsistent Big Eyes feels, Margaret Keane and her work deserves a better film than this. I'm a huge fan of Burton's work, but this just wasn't the right project for him.+Amy Adams-Tonally all over the place-Waltz is out of control-Does disservice to an incredible story4.8/10