Film Review: ‘Big Eyes’ Too Conventional to Generate Any Interest

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – What’s up with Tim Burton? His style is hardly present in the straightforward story of artists Margaret and Walter Keane, locked in a battle of creation over “Big Eyes” child paintings. There is nothing revelatory or even interesting in the process of their struggle of who-painted-what, maybe perhaps Burton – a collector of the art – wants to increase their value? Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

There is not much “there” there, as is said. It is established early that Margaret Keane was the real producer of the Big Eyes children, and then the rest of the film is the con perpetuated by Walter, that becomes less and less colorful the longer it drags on. Christoph Waltz as Walter is practically sweating blood to keep the character lively, and basically the script did him no favors. It’s hard to understand what to think of Walter, beyond that he was a liar. The paintings were done, the popularity was established, the money was made and lost. It was just not enough to sustain the 105 minute running time, and ends with a bizarre whimper rather than any bang.

Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) is a single mother who paints on the side. Her specialty is waif-like children with big eyes that overwhelm the visage of their faces. She meets Walter (Christoph Waltz), a fellow weekend painter and fervent self promoter. When they feature their paintings at a San Francisco nightclub, it is the “Big Eyes” paintings that patrons desire. At this point, Walter claims that he is the creator of the works, and when he marries Margaret she goes along with the charade.

What nobody expected is that the paintings would become popular and profitable. Walter rides the the wave fervently, and builds the brand into big business, much to the chagrin of gallery owner Ruben (Jason Schwartzman) and Margaret’s best friend DeeAnn (Krysten Ritter). DeeAnn wants Margaret to come clean, but the real artist is scared of revealing the lie, until Walter goes off the rails.

“Big Eyes” opens everywhere on December 25th. Featuring Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Jason Schwartzman, Danny Huston, Terrence Stamp and Krysten Ritter. Written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Directed by Tim Burton. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Big Eyes”

Amy Adams
Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) Applies Her Touch to ‘Big Eyes’
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Big Eyes”

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