Synopsis: A real-life story of painter Margaret Keane and her world famous paintings that were credited to her husband.
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It seems like it’s been a long time since Tim Burton has made a movie that isn’t weird and that actually has some meaning to it. Big Eyes is the story of Margaret Keane and her manipulative husband Walter.
Biographies have a tendency to fall into the mundane category. This movie is anything but mundane. The dynamic performances by Amy Adams and Christop Waltz take the focus away from the paintings and puts it on the characters. The big eyed children paintings are an expression as much as an escape for Margaret (Amy Adams) from her troubled personal life. She is a vulnerable woman who is looking for stability in her life when she meets Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz). Their meeting isn’t a chance encounter. From the moments we see Walter, it’s immediately established that he’s a sneaky manipulator. He approaches Margaret in a sneaky way, yet a few scenes later they are married…go figure.
The basis of the movie is that Walter uses his wife’s talents for painting to his benefit. As sleazy as Walter appears in the way he uses his wife to gain personal notoriety, there is also a case to be made that his supreme sales tactics is what got her paintings noticed in the first place. In a sense they appear to need each other in order to succeed.
Burton does a real nice job with the presentation of the movie. It definitely has a 1960’s feel to it, and you can easily be swept into 1960’s San Francisco. There is a colorful vibe to the film. Not just exhibited in the clothing and paintings, but the overall look of the film is brightly displayed.
The performances are stellar. Amy Adams does a fantastic job portraying Margaret Keane. She’s strong, but vulnerable. You can see right though Adams the inner struggle Margaret is having by keeping the truth away from her daughter and friends. Waltz is once again on top of his game. The sleazy, manipulative, yet charming portrayal of Walter Keane is extraordinary. He’s just so good at being a snake. You dislike him, but don’t hate him. It’s that charismatic villain you hate to love.
The Blu-ray comes with two features. The Making of Big Eyes is a 22 minute feature with a look a look at the making of the movie. Featuring interviews with the actors, production team, and featuring the real-life Margaret Keane talking about the movie. The other feature is the Q & A Highlights with interviews with the writers, Margaret Keane, and her daughter Jane among them.
Big Eyes is a really interesting and fun movie to see. I wasn’t sure what to expect of it. The premise wasn’t the most compelling thing to draw me to it. The acting duo of Adams and Waltz is an award winning match. They work so well of each other. This is one of Burton’s better projects in a long time. Putting the focus on the actors and letting them tell the story was the right thing to do with this film. I was hoping this film wouldn’t bore me like Reese Witherspoon’s Wild did, which also was a biography and portrayal of a real living person, luckily Big Eyes didn’t fall into the boring category. The Blu-ray doesn’t offer many features, only two, but they are features worth checking out. This could have easily been an Oscar darling, I’m sort of surprised it ultimately wasn’t. If you haven’t seen Big Eyes, you definitely should get the DVD.
Big Eyes Blu-ray DVD – 7.5 out of 10!
Waltz and Adams fizzle together 0n-screen
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