Cert: 12A Runtime: 106 mins Director: Tim Burton Cast: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, Danny Huston and Terrence Stamp
That’s not testifying, that’s filibustering
If you are a returning reader you will know that I admire the work of Tim Burton. Big Eyes has been the only film that I have not had any interest watching it. It doesn’t seem to be a Burton, but as any great artist must do they must evolve. My knowledge of the context of the premise of Big Eyes was very vague, but a few family members of mine used to have Big Eye paintings (I assume prints) in their houses and they freaked me out. What is Big Eyes about? God-fearing, naive divorcee Margaret Ulbrich (Amy Adams) arrives in San Francisco with her young daughter in the 1950s. She’s flattered by the attentions of handsome Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) and they marry after a whirlwind romance. Walter than starts hawking his wife’s distinctive paintings of big-eyed women and children to dealers. These quickly become a national sensation and are mass produced to meet demand. But Walter always claims the work is his own, arguing that no one buys women’s art. The couple become increasingly wealthy, but Margaret remains uneasy about the deception, sowing the seeds of a spectacular showdown.
This really doesn’t feel like a Tim Burton film at all, but this doesn’t mean I hated it. A few scenes it felt like his work but I felt like anyone could of made this film. The direction is decent here giving the movie a good pace and retaining a more stripped down of Burton’s whimsical leanings without going over the top. The movie looks beautiful with strong vibrant colors painting every scene. The story itself is a very fascinating one with Margaret Keane having to deal with guilt of having her husband take credit for her paintings despite the sales of those paintings making them loads of money. Amy Adams portrays Margaret as fragile, but not weak and later makes a change to a stronger woman which makes her very likable and easy to root for. Waltz as husband Walter Keane brings a lot of the humor to the film and has great scene presence.While I did like Waltz in the movie, I did feel he got too cartoony at times. I don’t know if that is how he acted in real life, but it sometimes didn’t work in the movie and it felt too silly. The film also lacks any true powerful moments to push it into great territory. Overall, despite some goofy moments from Waltz and a lack of emotional resonance, this is still a decent film that I can’t believe it really happened.