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Big Eyes (2014)

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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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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Canaday
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Enrico Banducci
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Judge
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Lily
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Dino Olivetti
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Olivetti Girl
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2nd Olivetti Girl (as Emily Bruhn)
Brent Chapman ...
Factory Boss
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Storyline

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 Anne Campbell

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A true story about art and the art of deception. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Velike oči  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,610,026 (USA) (2 January 2015)

Gross:

$14,479,776 (USA) (20 March 2015)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tim Burton and cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel wanted to shoot on 35mm film. They ended up shooting digitally due to budget restrictions and the Vancouver Deluxe laboratory closing in 2012. See more »

Goofs

When Margaret reveals on the radio that she painted the "Big Eyes" paintings, the sign outside the radio station states a frequency of 905.1 AM. AM radio stations don't use fractional frequencies; the station should be something like 905 AM. See more »

Quotes

Walter Keane: Would you rather sell a $500 painting, or a million cheaply reproduced posters?
Walter Keane: See, folks don't care if it's a copy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 3 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Moanin
Written by Bobby Timmons and Jon Hendricks
Performed by Doug Webb, Chuck Findley, and Francisco Torres
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User Reviews

 
Domestic Abuse and Denigration
3 March 2015 | by (Quezon City, Philippines) – See all my reviews

"Big Eyes" was nominated under Comedy & Musical category during the last Golden Globe Awards. Lead actress Amy Adams even won the Best Actress prize for starring in it. While I was watching this film though, it turned out to be furthest from what I had in mind for a comedy. The topic of this film was actually disturbing and depressing. However, being a Tim Burton film, there was certainly dark humor to be had.

This film is a biopic of 1950s novelty pop artist Margaret Keane (formerly Ulbrich, nee Hawkins). She developed a series of haunting acrylic paintings of kids with big dark round eyes. Walter Keane, her rascal salesman of a husband, took advantage of the rising popularity of her paintings. He claimed and mass-marketed them as his own.

Meanwhile, timid Margaret was forced to conform to his web of lies. She was locked in her workroom in their home to paint even more Big Eyes, away from the prying eyes of the public, and even her own daughter. Will Margaret be able to break free from the prison she has trapped herself into?

Amy Adams quietly carried this film capably on her shoulders. There was nothing funny about what she had to do here as Margaret. Her character was the victim of a most cruel crime. Her husband stole not only her art, but also her confidence, and her very freedom. Adams played a weak character, but as an actress, Adams was anything but. With her wise underplaying, Adams successfully won our empathy and compassion for her difficult plight.

Christoph Waltz, on the other hand, was over-the-top, one-dimensional, practically cartoonish, as the manipulative con-man Walter. From his very first scene, you already knew this smooth-talking guy was up to no good. Up to his very last scene in that courtroom, Waltz's Walter was a manic caricature, never really coming across as a real person at all. This may well Tim Burton's direction in play, as this character Walter was the source of most of this film's black humor. Waltz's fiery interaction with Terence Stamp's harsh NY Times art critic character is most memorable as well.

This film's narrative was simple and straightforward. Yet because of Amy Adams' riveting and heart-rending performance, we will be held until the compelling end. The technical aspects of the film, particularly the pastel color palette of the photography, as well as the period production design, costumes and makeup, all contribute to the overall charming look and nostalgic feel of the film as a whole. 7/10.


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