A drama about the awakening of 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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The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, a.k.a. Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop down in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett. Based on the hit Broadway musical.
Helena Bonham Carter,
In San Francisco in the 1950s, Margaret was a woman trying to make it on her own after leaving her husband with only her daughter and her paintings. She meets gregarious ladies' man and fellow painter Walter Keane in a park while she was struggling to make an impact with her drawings of children with big eyes. The two quickly become a pair with outgoing Walter selling their paintings and quiet Margaret holed up at home painting even more children with big eyes. But Walter's actually selling her paintings as his own. A clash of financial success and critical failure soon sends Margaret reeling in her life of lies. With Walter still living the high life, Margaret's going to have to try making it on her own again and re-claiming her name and her paintings. Written by
The paint-out, in which Margaret challenged Walter to paint a Big Eyes painting, was in San Francisco's Union Square, not Honolulu, in the fall of 1970. The Keanes split up in 1965. See more »
The '50s were a grand time, if you were a man. I'm Dick Nolan. I make things up for a living - I'm a reporter.
[Margaret frantically packing things]
It's the strangest goddamn story that I ever covered. It started the day that Margaret Ulbrich walked out on her suffocating husband, long before it became the fashionable thing to do.
Come on, Janie.
[they get into the car]
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Charming, but uneven, entertaining yet unsatisfying, "Big Eyes" definitely does not come into the category of great or important true story movies. It is clearly a change of style for Tim Burton (if is very relieving not to see Johhny Depp acting all weird), but even though the time at the theater doesn't in any way feel wasted or boring, instead quite pleasant, the movie is too chaotic and quirky for it to be taken seriously in any way.
A premise that has lots of potential is partially wasted in aimless scenes or in repetitiveness. The film doesn't really make a point about anything and has way too much flashy stuff to feel grounded in any way. There would be nothing wrong there, but the fact that in it's uneven tone there seems to emerge a will to give an accurate and worthy recounting of these events makes so much of the drama feel out of nowhere. Storytelling isn't exactly where the movie succeeds. The courtroom scenes are definitely the weakest of all and made me mad multiple times because of their absolute preposterousness.
Anyways, the film is built around a strong enough cast, photography, premise, writing and design that it would be hard to get bored in anyway. The pace is fluent enough and the duration of the film is just about right for the content it presents. I wanted to like this more and see the story be given a better portrayal, but in no way I could say "Big Eyes" was a failure.
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