Big Eyes (2014) Poster

(I) (2014)

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7/10
Domestic Abuse and Denigration
3xHCCH3 March 2015
"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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9/10
A lovely comedy drama
85122220 April 2015
Greetings from Lithuania.

"Big Eyes" (2014) is more of good feel comedy drama then a serious biography drama as it's genre indicates. Yes, it is based on a very true story, but this is not a typical biopic by any means. It's a "light" and easy movie, with some great performances by both leads, tight pacing, very nice writing and directing. No wonder that it was mentioned in an Comedy or Musical categories at Golden Globes and not in motion picture drama.

Overall, this is true very well made biography drama about some painters and frauds. Won't going to spoil anything, just going to say that i was very surprised by the ending when i find out that this actually happen, well, probably not word by word but the outcome did happen actually how it was portrait in the movie. This is a very fine picture from legendary director Tim Burton, and safe to say that this is his best movie in years simply by not being "a Tim Burton's" movie as we know them. This small budget picture (in terms of other's T.Burton's flicks) actually is much more lovely and intimate then his recent works. I will go even so far and say that i haven't enjoy his movie so much since 1999's "Sleepy Hollow".
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8/10
Not typical Tim Burton, still a nice drama that's fun and it inspires with love, and finding artistic discovery.
blanbrn1 January 2015
I'm a big fan of Tim Burton and with his latest "Big Eyes" it clearly is not typical Tim Burton it's more of a serious tone and manner it's different from comic book tales and animation of the dark senses and world of Tim. This film is actually a true take on the life and times of female painter Margaret Keane as it's a true tale of discovery, fate and getting to know your world thru the eyes of art. Set in the 1950's California Margaret Keane(Amy Adams)is a single mother who decides to set out on her own as her talents of the brush and drawing is her only hope to earn her bucks for her and her daughter. Upon meeting Walter(Christoph Waltz)a sharp and arrogant know it all showman type, it's under the spell that Margaret soon becomes Mrs. Keane. And success and fame and public notice comes from the couples paintings only the Mr. takes all the credit! This film becomes a legal dispute as who is claiming the work is in question yet you as the viewer know who's best at the brush! Overall nice little sentimental film from Tim it's different yet that's what makes a director and a film work that's a different take that appeals to the big eyes of viewers!
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6/10
6.5/10
James_De_Bello2 January 2015
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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8/10
Big Eyes was a compelling film about the career of Margaret Keane and her hubby Walter's initial grabbing credit for her work
tavm31 August 2015
Just watched this with Mom on a Netflix disc. We both were enthralled by this true story of painter Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) whose defining feature is the big eyes of her subjects and hubby Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) who publicly takes credit for her work for years. It takes place from the late '50s through the '60s and partly seems a comment on how stifled Mrs. Keane felt not being the one getting recognition for her work and the crises that created between her and her husband, not to mention her daughter who was often the subject for the paintings. Tim Burton seems the right director for this film especially when he has Margaret dreaming or during the climatic courtroom scenes. The light and dark colors also contribute to the period atmosphere to pretty compelling effect. While I liked many of the supporting characters, I had to admit I was a bit disappointed by the one portrayed by Krysten Ritter as I half thought she'd play more in the way things turned out in the film than she did. Still, Big Eyes was mostly enjoyable enough the way it was told. P.S. I had also watched a vintage interview with the real Walter Keane on Merv Griffin on YouTube in which he seemed to flirt with a female guest there. (The cad!) Then I saw a couple of interviews on YT with the real Margaret Keane on Mike Douglas' shows-one in Hawaii and one with Shirley Temple whose child portrait Ms. Keane painted for her-and her Southern charm shone through immensely!
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10/10
"Mother, I know..."
CHOOCHOOTRAlN6 April 2019
The Warhol quote is making fun of its ghastliness and the invisible hand of the market. An odd choice to start on by mocking its own subject. As well I sense a subconscious undercurrent reflecting his own brand.

But the key to Tim Burton has always been Disney not Gothic. Here is finally a proper Gothic work in being everything but, with its colorful San Francisco and Hawaii; Waltz through structures of mental control, abuse in power, serial plagiarizing, is a Gothic monster.

There would be inheritances in stories like this.

But it's about speech as well and how if you don't say it it'll never be said, begging the tragedy how painting isn't enough. Her eyes don't just see but can't not see. They gaze the heightened details of the world. Then would be susceptible to larger than life psychologies which would entice her in love. A Gothic torture how love controls her. Then when images can't be hers, she chooses numbers. Numerology in the pop 60s make her almost a chosen one for backing the zeitgeist: late 20th century advanced statistics would forecast and streamline every single industry. Her drawings very much forecasted the medium of anime, which rivals all of world cinema. By her own devices left unchecked might've lead to some great garage start-up, Mac, PC... Keane. In all seriousness societal mechanics denying her ability to grow in art reminds me of Burton himself trapped in the machine of his brand.

Credit. Silence. Eyes. Its elements fuse a true fright. "Mother, I know..." Few will know the soul-crushing abuse of others taking credit for their work.

Usually, a woman so pretty would not be a Tim Burton outsider but the spark of her ghoulish secret drawings make her as him. Oddest. The whole film is about these demonic traumatized orphans happening in its background. A battlefield seems to be the anger as the commodification of western privilege. But against the abstract expressionist backdrop it's a valid contrary.

Most beautiful is it's this Tim Burton art film where performers are allowed to act not pose, even though it abuses green screen (its artifice you could say is Warholian at least...); much is said about the overacting, where Waltz has to strut around and make a great show of it, but he's being watched by Burton and Keane's; eyes so big warrant big visions.
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7/10
Unfortunately, the miscasting of a key role in 'Big Eyes' makes many scenes appear unreal.
MrPupkin18 November 2019
If I were to speculate about what happened behind the scenes when they made this, it felt as if Tim Burton was given a sort of a dare: "you couldn't make a regular film if you tried!" and that this film was the answer to that challenge. Adams and Waltz seem to endeavor to stretch beyond the Movie-Of-The-Week limitations in place but fail, kitsch ultimately winning out over sentimentality. It's a generic film, surprisingly so.
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7/10
A competent, thoughtful drama from Tim Burton that could do with a little more of the director's trademark whimsy.
shawneofthedead3 February 2015
Tim Burton has crafted quite a reputation as a director of the surreal and the macabre. In his films, he conjures up dark, Gothic images of death and despair, but suffuses them with his special brand of bittersweet magic and whimsy. On the surface, Big Eyes is right up his alley - this true story of the fiercest and most outrageous copyright battle in art history centres on a series of big-eyed waifs, almost ghostly figures of hope and horror that fit perfectly into Burton's aesthetic. And yet, barring a few scenes, the final film is curiously characterless: a competently-made, shrewdly- cast biopic that never quite troubles the heart or spirit the way Burton's films can do.

Margaret (Amy Adams) is trying to scrape together a living for herself and her young daughter when she meets Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), a charismatic real-estate broker who would rather make a name for himself as an artist. He offers her a home, love and financial security, and she quite happily takes his surname as her own. Once they are married, Walter keeps trying to break into the notoriously snobby art world, selling his own Parisian landscapes and Margaret's portraits of wistful young girls with enormous eyes. But it's her art - simply signed as 'Keane' - that grabs the attention and, as one white lie leads to another, Margaret suddenly finds herself shoved into the background. Walter has taken credit for her work, and is well on his way to transforming it into a global phenomenon.

There are many big ideas swirling around in Big Eyes: art, deceit, integrity, commercialism and love are shaken liberally and stirred through with deeper issues of sexism and psychological abuse. This comes through pretty well in the film, which paints a chilling picture of Margaret's enforced anonymity. As her husband delights in dominating newpaper headlines and picking fights with famed art critics like John Canaday (Terence Stamp), she fades almost literally into the background - creating ever more pieces of art for him in the solitude of her attic studio, lying even to her daughter about her life's work. The film also draws a canny, subtle distinction between the artist and the businessman: Walter may not be much of the former, but his skills as the latter are what drag Margaret's work from county fairs onto the international stage.

Through it all, Burton exercises a light - almost impersonal - touch. He scatters a few scenes into the film that hint at his trademark film-making style: Margaret bumps into a crass supermarket display of her art, and suddenly everyone around her sports the limpid, haunting eyes of the waifs no one knows are hers. But, for the most part, Burton keeps himself out of the proceedings. It's proof that he can create nightmares on a more subtle and realistic level, capturing the darker side of life as it can be rather than as he imagines it. Occasionally, however, the film begs the question whether he should - it's stuffy and dry, never quite engaging either the heart or the imagination.

That's through no fault of his cast. Adams anchors Big Eyes with an astounding portrayal of a complex woman: one who's willing to cast off the chains of her first marriage, only to wind up tangled in the snare of another. It would be easy to play Margaret as a victim, but Adams finds the bitter strength in someone who must endure untold torment in a world and home that constantly remind her she's too weak to succeed on her own. Waltz's performance, on the other hand, is puzzling - he plays Walter in the constant key of manic, right from the start, so that the character's smooth, smug charm is all you ever see of the man. There is something undeniably delicious, though, about Waltz's Walter when the cracks begin to show: he simmers his way into a kind of monstrous madness, which lends both drama and humour to the proceedings when Margaret finally brings her claim to court.

On the evidence of Big Eyes, there's hope yet for Burton if he would like to switch to making more literal films. He unearths plenty of smart, insightful tension in this troubled marriage, a partnership on unequal terms that becomes less emotional and more financial by the day. But the film also stumbles along at points, bled dry when it should radiate colour and emotion. It's hard to shake the feeling, too, that Waltz seems to be under the impression that he's in a more old-school, over-the-top Burton production. It's at these moments, in particular, that one might long for a splash of Burton's own personality - the chance to look at this world, this story and these people through his eyes.
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1/10
Not the worst movie ever, but certainly one of the most easily forgettable
dierregi21 June 2017
Loosely based on a "real" story, the plot is about Margaret, a divorced mother and the painter of kitsch big-eyed children, reproduced on countless every-day items that infested the markets some decades ago. For many years Margaret allowed her second husband, Walter Keane, to claim authorship for her work, while she churned out one canvas after the other and lied to everybody.

I am not a Burton's fan and I watched this at home, because it did not seem worth of a cinema outing. I also find those kiddies'paintings very kitsch and did not care much about the author, therefore my expectations were low. Turns out, not low enough.

Amy Adams is a good actress, but even she cannot make a sympathetic character out of a woman who - allegedly - lied to her own daughter for years and secretly painted hundreds of canvas of creepy kids to please her hubby. How did she do that? Apparently Margaret's studio was a locked room and her daughter did not found that weird….

Christoph Waltz is unfortunately in full sociopath-Hans Landa mood, therefore unbearable. I never liked him much and I positively detested this interpretation. The courtroom scene is hard to bear. It was not Johnny Depp playing weirdo yet again in a Burton movie, but that did not improve the plot.

I am not sure what would constitute a spoiler for this, since the plot is so bad and the movie irrelevant. However, I will not disclose the "surprise ending", even if you can find out what happened with a simple search.
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7/10
Good but lacks substance for lasting impression
ArchonCinemaReviews1 February 2015
Christoph Waltz steals the show in Big Eyes, Tim Burton's whimsical tale of an artist and a scandal set in the transporting setting of California in the 60's.

The story of Big Eyes is something straight out of the movies, but no, the tale of Margaret Keane and her artistry is based on fact and real life.

Tim Burton's Big Eyes is a dramatic narrative of Margaret Keane, the painter, mother and wife. Having left her husband, with daughter in tow, she seeks a new beginning in California. While there, she hopes to make a living through her art and subsequently meets and marries a man named Walter. Trying to navigate the art world and make a living, her husband claims credit for her artwork which eventually becomes highly profitable. Burton focuses on the awakening of Keane as an artist and to her husband's shortcomings and the legal difficulties in claiming ownership of her work.

Margaret Keane's life is a fascinating and near unbelievable one. And much of Big Eyes' success as a film rests comfortably on that very story. Well, Big Eyes rests on the story of Keane and on Christoph Waltz's immeasurable charm in his performance as Walter Keane.

The sad big eyed children made commercially famous by Keane are uniquely peculiar. Stylistically, it was only right that Tim Burton should direct a film about the painter. It is apparent that Big Eyes is a Burton film; however, Tim Burton subdues his style substantially so that the narrative of this marvelous woman can take center stage. Creatively, this is a refreshing departure for the director.

The Big Eyes movie parallels the artwork of Margaret Keane in an unintentional manner. Margaret Keane was able to look at a person and capture their essence and then put it on canvas with her own twist through large sad eyes. Similarly, Tim Burton takes the core elements of Keane's life and translates it to film with his own fanciful creative liberties. Though everything is in the movie adaptation of Big Eyes, it lacks substance and heart to connect with the audience to have a lasting impression.

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6/10
A Keane Eye for Art
richardchatten29 October 2020
An uncertain mixture of drama and comedy (such as the scene where Christoph Waltz interrogates himself in the witness box like Everett Sloane in 'The Lady from Shanghai').

The resemblance of 'Big Eyes' to the Tony Hancock vehicle 'The Rebel' seems to have been noticed by even fewer people than that of 'Basic Instinct' to 'Play Misty to Me' (with Danny Huston performing a function similar to George Sanders in the earlier film). Except that in 'Big Eyes' it's as if the struggling artist played by Paul Massie found fame and fortune by laying claim to the authorship of the daubs of Anthony Hancock.

Since you won't find either Keane in any of the usual art histories, the decision in 1986 of Margaret to take Walter to court was presumably motivated by the prices their paintings were commanding rather than hurt creative pride. (Significantly Andy Warhol was a fan.)
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6/10
It's good, but not great.
grainnemorris17 January 2019
This is a fascinating story which should make for a fantastic movie, but instead it's just ok. Entertaining, but nothing truly special. The worst part is that there are hints of something more interesting underneath, like when Margaret sees people with abnormally large eyes in the supermarket or big eyes in her own reflection. We wonder how these paintings are affecting her identity, because in a way they are all she is, but she can't claim them as hers. But that idea is just kind of... left there.

And then there's the main problem: Christoph Waltz. He's not the only one at fault - his character goes from charming to cartoon villain which can certainly be blamed on the writers and Burton - but his over acted performance, particularly towards the end, completely obscured any depth that Walter's character may have had.

Amy Adams, on the other hand, is fantastic and certainly the movie's saving grace. I would have liked to see more of her relationship with Walter, more of what made her willing to keep cranking out paintings for her husband, though I suspect a more three-dimensional Walter would have been needed for that.

And the narrator/reporter was completely unnecessary. I kept forgetting he existed and then wondering who was talking for a few seconds before I remembered that the movie had a narrator.

All in all, entertaining but disappointing. 6/10
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10/10
A Beautiful Movie!
buhaydallas29 December 2014
The movie is beautiful and Amy Adams is brilliant in her portrayal of Margaret Keane. She should get an Oscars for this.

I was entertained, holding off going to the bathroom because each scene in the movie is important part so I'd understand the next one on why behaviors are like that. No boring scene for me.

The movie is funny and light it makes you feel good after leaving the theater. Almost a feel-good movie only it's drama in category and a little on human psychology.

The story is interesting, the conflict is more of a moral one. If you're a person with no integrity and honesty is not a cup of your tea, you might find this lame and you won't find the conflict enough for the pay off at the end.

Enjoyable, definitely one for renting or blue-ray collection.

Amy Adams is the best part here though. I think.
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1/10
Big Mess
tigerfish5013 March 2016
'Big Eyes' is a lightweight biopic about a divorced single mother called Margaret Ulbrich, who dreams of supporting herself as an artist while she paints kitschy portraits of street children with sad, over-sized eyes. After meeting and marrying a glib hustler, she permits her new husband to claim authorship of her work when he sells a couple of the paintings. In due course Margaret's 'masterpieces' become as monstrously popular as Thomas Kinkade's later exercises in tacky bad taste, crude craftsmanship and sappy sentimentality.

Based on real events, the film skates over the psychological issues, and depicts only the surface of the couple's dysfunctional relationship. Predictably, some 'facts' of this version are disputed, and many story elements have been altered or invented for dramatic effect. Amy Adams is exceptional as usual, but the movie's major weakness is Christoph Waltz's over-the-top pantomime villain performance as her sociopathic spouse, who schemes, blusters and womanizes while Margaret labors anonymously in the studio. Director Burton pads out his flimsy material with generic characters like Terence Stamp's NYT art critic, Jason Schwartzman's gallery owner, and Danny Huston's journalist, who also provides some unnecessary narration. In the end - like Margaret's paintings - "Big Eyes' only delivers a chintzy ephemeral experience.
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4/10
Sad Eyes (Say Too Little)
jadepietro3 January 2015
Tim Burton's Big Eyes is a bad film about bad painters making bad art. It's as dreadful as the artwork on view. The film declaims the "true " life story of Margaret Keane, but just how true is true? It purports to tell the story of the artist whose paintings of miserable urchins became the rage back in the sixties. Sadly, just like the unhappy waifs in the paintings, Big Eyes is a sad incomprehensible wreck of a film. (As a teenager, I do remember seeing these prints at a nearby Woolworth and thinking, "Who would want these paintings anyway?") Apparently, everyone did, including Natalie Wood, Jerry Lewis and Joan Crawford. That part may be quite true, but some other facts are pure artistic license.

The film tries to spin the fad into international glory, over-exaggerating the importance of this works of art and the business of marketing art to the masses ala Warhol. There could be an interesting enough back-story about Ms. Keane's life and her sudden wealth, but the mixed-up screenplay by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski never does her life any justice as it wavers between farce and drama. The essence of this "based on a true story" shows the artist too easily giving into her incorrigible manager/husband who claimed to be the sole creator of her schlock art. Ms. Keane's reasons for the anonymity are never fully explained. The script hints at her low self-esteem issues and the societal backlash against female artists at the time, although the latter argument is weak, with other artists like O'Keefe, Frankenthaler, and Krasner achieving fame and fortune back then. The film tends to skim over the more relevant facts of her life.

Burton does succeed, at least, visually with the look of the film from Colleen Atwood's costumes and production design by Rich Heinrich which captures the period details handsomely. However, character-wise, the film is a muddle with the tone of the film caroming from cheeky melodrama to absurd comedy, as in a scene involving a harsh (but accurate) critic and a courtroom scene that is too absurd to be believed. Amy Adams does invest some depth into her ill-defined character, but Christoph Waltz is far too slick and charmless as her duplicitous and scheming spouse.

Big Eyes is a big bad disappointment. GRADE: C

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7/10
TV movie with Cinematic production values
Jerghal8 February 2015
Based on a true story, brrr... Burton ventures into the realm of TV movie land (that's where most true story movies dwell) although this was a limited cinematic release and also limited success. Amy Adams plays a painter who paints children with Big Eyes. She meets and marries Waltz who shortly after begins to take credit for her work. Adams is cast well as the good virtuous woman and Waltz is a bit type-cast as the friendly but guy-you-love-to-hate-and-wanna-punch-in-the-face bad guy. But he plays it big and sometimes a bit comedic which makes the tone of the film lighter. Big Eyes has a very colorful set- and production design and looks great. The movie itself tough feels like it could have been made by any other director and doesn't have the Burton feel. So you could say it's the least Burton-esque film in his repertoire. Seeing it in the cinemas won't add much value, it's more a nice Sunday afternoon flick that works just as well on your small screen.
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4/10
Superficial Beyond Belief
Rogue-3224 April 2015
Tim Burton, quite simply, should have left this material alone. It doesn't work as anything more than a mind-bogglingly superficial look at a deeply serious subject - the exploitation of a woman at the hands of an opportunistic, sadistic, immoral prick.

Amy Adams does a good job at portraying Margaret Keane, who is cajoled by said opportunistic sleazebag into letting him take credit for her now-legendary big-eyed waif paintings, telling her 'we're a team, let's work together', blah blah blah.

She goes into this disgusting relationship after having left her previous husband (taking her daughter with her), but she hasn't really gone anywhere; she's still brain-washed by society to believe that 'nobody buys lady art', so she's basically broken already when she hooks up with Walter Keane, or rather when he slimes his way into her life.

Serious stuff, the subjugation of women, made even worse when the woman is question is a major part of the problem. But Burton handles the whole thing so lightly, so completely vapidly, that the underlying story comes across as sadly predictable and devoid of any true payoff at the end.

I'm not saying he should have gone the opposite route, into some dreadfully horrific dark mode, with Walter Keane coming across like Doctor Doom, or even worse, the slivering slimy succubus known as Venom, but the tone he does take, as I've already said - don't want to run it into the ground - hardly does this non-amusing cautionary true-life story justice.

The screenplay, of course, doesn't help - it always starts with the script, naturally - bad writing is a nail in the coffin for a director, even one of Burton's stature. The best thing the film has going for it is Amy Adams, as Margaret. who brings a genuine poignancy to the role, a poignancy that is certainly not contained in the screenplay. She manages to make us feel SOMETHING at least, no easy task considering what she was given (or not given) to work with. (I gave the film 4 out of 10, my IMDb equivalent to 2 stars, only because of her brave performance.)

Walter's character, on the other hand, comes across as a complete cartoon caricature, with no human qualities whatsoever. Is this bad acting on the part of Waltz, who can surely shred scenery in his sleep? Probably. Everyone has to take responsibility for this fiasco, which I don't believe should have been green-lighted in the first place. Talk about exploitation.
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1/10
Burton's "Big Eyes" Was Cross-Eyed, Narrow-Visioned Junk
roddekker23 July 2015
Was "Big Eyes" really supposed to be a story based on "real" events about "real" people?? 'Cause if this was the case, I couldn't quite decide which one of these so-called "real" people, in this poorly-conceived tale of fraud, treachery (and an inevitable lawsuit), was the biggest jackass of the lot.

Like, was the "biggest-jackass-of-all" the loud, scheming, braggart, Walter Keane? - or - Was it, in fact, Margaret Keane, Walter's mousy, airhead wife?

Well, for starters - If you were to ask me - Not only would I say that these 2 total jackasses (Walter & Margaret) totally deserved each other - But, it was, indeed, Margaret who rated, in my books, as the biggest jackass of these 2 less-than-adorable dorks.

Anyway - After carefully considering all sides of "Big Eyes" story, I've come to the conclusion that because it was Margaret who (for 10 years) accepted, without so much as a squeak, the completely crooked arrangement that Walter imposed upon her (in regards to her artwork), then, it was she who was, undoubtedly, the biggest and dumbest ditz of them all.
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7/10
This isn't dark and Gothic...that's okay.
xodanielcasterox9 January 2015
You all know him as the king of Goth, but we as the viewers forget that he can do more. It's good to see him get away from that world of darkness and finally surprise us for a change. Don't get me wrong, I freaking love his dark movies like, "Edward Scissorhands" "Beetlejuice" "Sweeney Todd" and my personal favorites "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Batman."It's kind of weird that there's no Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter anymore but it's good to see something else. Maybe Tim Burton is moving on or taking a break. And if you're tired of seeing the same thing over and over then check out "Big Eyes." It's a well written, well directed and well acted. Amy Adams is no surprise. She gives an astounding performance and I hope to see her in another Burton flick. Christoph Waltz is slimy and a d!ck but every time I see him he looks like he's having a blast and if he's having fun, so am I. And I am so glad Burton kept Danny Elfman. These two guys are inseparable. They're like Spielberg and Williams. Elfman's scare was pretty good, but I still miss that creepy chilling dark music that he's well known for; in this it's more upbeat. All in all, the movie was good but not great, though it doesn't feel historically accurate, mostly because of Waltz's performance. Anyway, check it out.
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2/10
The Eyes Are The Windows Of The Soul?? - Yeah? Says Who??
strong-122-47888518 July 2015
Of the many "Tim Burton" films that I've seen over the years - To date, "Big Eyes" has got to be the stinkiest one of them all. In my opinion - This utter piece of bio-junk was strictly bottom of the barrel entertainment.

Without question, "Big Eyes" was one of the worst examples of big-budget ($10 million), Hollywood storytelling in recent years. This film's subject matter was literally milked completely dry.

I mean, Big Eyes' tale could've easily been wrapped up in about 60 minutes, instead of a tedious 106. Like, talk about flogging a dead horse.

And, as far as its 2 principal actors go -

Amy Adams (?) - Yet another one-dimensional, Nicole Kidman-type who was awful-awful-awful. I swear that I could literally see this woman thinking through her dialogue before she actually spoke it.

Christoph Waltz (?) - From start to finish, a talentless and total scenery chewer. This guy's gutless, over-the-top portrayal of Walter Keane made me absolutely cringe.

Anyway - As far as I'm concerned - It's two big, black eyes for "Big Eyes" - (Boo! Hiss! to Tim Burton)
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10/10
Big Eyes brushes a interesting sight on artists and proving ones credibility
RforFilm16 January 2015
You can learn a lot about a person based on the things that they put on their walls. Guys like me who have movie poster can be identified as obvious film geeks. Those that fill their walls with classical art tend to be prim and proper, even if what they own are copies. Those that have sports imagery tend to be more aggressive and a tad more ambitious with their plans. Those that choose to place nothing on their walls are minimalist and value their own lives over the thoughts of others. The art that one ones not only tells a thousand words in the picture, but it says millions about the owner.

Going on the subject of classical, those that are not of higher class at least want to be seen as classy. Hence those that can't afford true art will buy posters. Once such poster that filled plenty of homes were the "Big Eyes" paintings that Margaret Keane produced. Distinct by the dark imagery of children with oversize pupils, this is a rare form of art that is both challenging yet simple enough that even non art fans can perceive this as "interesting" looking. Big Eyes gives us a different perspective of the artist behind the brush.

In 1958, Margaret Hawkins (played by Amy Adams) left her first husband, taking her child Jane with her, and moving to San Francisco where she hopes she can become a true artist. She uses her painting skills to get a job at a furniture design store while she paints caricatures on the weekends at art fairs. She's set up next to another artist Walter Keane (played by Christoph Waltz) who see's that her work as fascinating. In order to prevent Jane from being taken away, she agrees to marry Walter and she's pretty swoon by his charming, salesman-like attitude.

A misunderstanding at a nightclub causes Walter to claim one of Margret's paintings as his own. At first she's mad by this, but when her husband convinces her that the art would sale better if the public knew that a man painted the "Big Eyes", she agrees to go along with the charade. Walter becomes a celebrity by the public as a genus and manages to sell more posters of the "Big Eyes" then of the art. The pressure persuades Margaret to eventually divorce him and even try to get her credit back, but of course have to challenge Walter on his insistence that the "Big Eyes" are his.

What people are not going to guess out of Big Eyes is that Tim Burton directed it. It seems odd because the story is too human for an artsy guy like him (even though he also directed another great biopic, Ed Wood). But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Tim Burton really knew what he was doing for this. Sure, Big Eyes doesn't have the traditional German Expressionism that Burton is more established with, but he does have an eye for giving the past a postcard look to it. San Francisco and Hawaii look really nice here.

I can tell that what attracted Amy Adams to this story is that Big Eyes is a feminist movie. It addresses the trouble of the position women were in and how the public perceived that Margaret could have not been talented enough to paint these images. She's really likable as you want to she her prove justice to her art. Christoph Waltz is just perfect here, playing the scumbag con artist that Walter Keane probably was. These two make a good team in a story about art that should appeal to most people.

I'll give this ten "Big Eyes" paintings out of ten. Even those that are not into art will probably enjoy this movie as it's more about the painter then the paintings. It's really a story about a strange marriage and claiming ones right to their work. If you can, open your own big eyes to such a great film.
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4/10
Pretty...but Confused and Dull
matthewssilverhammer11 January 2015
Big Eyes is ALMOST great in many ways. It strongly shows the melancholic underbelly of the pristine looking 1950s suburbia, shooting it with nostalgic beauty. The slice-of-life American-art-history plot is fascinating, and stars Adams and Waltz can more than fill a screen. Unfortunately what does fill the screen is nothing more than a pretty (albeit dull) excuse to clumsily relay facts. The facts revolve around a real-life couple who made millions selling the wife's truly haunting and beautiful artwork. The catch: they've convinced everyone in this male-dominant society that the husband is actually the artist. The details that flow from this bizarre true story are not without compelling moments, and the "Big Eye" paintings really are a thing to behold. Sadly, the film doesn't have much to say about its subject, settling for heavy-handed misogyny claims and ham-fisted editing rather than having its own view-point. Another shame is the waste of some great talent. No one plays a more charismatic worm than Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), and Adams always paints her characters with complexity and intrigue. Otherwise, the performances are pretty lacking, with even Adams and Waltz struggling to create any real chemistry with each other or the script. Of course with dialogue this flat and lifeless, it's really no surprise the actors struggled. Normally, Burton's strength is his surrealism. In one scene, Adams' character's world starts to meld with her art, and the film actually comes alive for a minute...but then they drop this style altogether. Big Eyes needs more of Burton's signature quirk and flair, and LESS of the confused tone, to be a film worth a look.
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5/10
It marks the end of Tim Burton
gardoma27 December 2014
After being seriously disappointed by, well, every Burton movie since Sleepy Hollow, I had some serious expectations for Big Eyes. There was just so much potential, with the convoluted relationship between art and success and an a personal connection with the subject (Burton is a collector of Keane's art). I seriously thought this was gonna be Burton's new Ed Wood. Instead, it was an atrociously boring and conventional biopic. Screenwriters and producers squandered the great material they had in their hands. Everything that is intriguing in the true story (sexism in the art world as well in the American society of the 50s, art and kitsch, boundless ambitions of Sunday morning painters, the 60s in San Francisco, the rise and fall of a media star, the cross between art and pop art...) remains completely unexplored in the movie.

Even the most incredible aspects of Margaret Keane's personal story are toned down: We don't see her possessive husband compulsively checking on her every hour, and forcing her to work 16 hours a day. And we don't see the full extent of the trial, which in reality went on for years. Every aspect of her story is toned down and flatly reported. And so many (oh so many) parts of the script are taken out of the bag of cheap screen writing tricks. Take, for example, the art gallery owner played by Schwartzman (designed to make you initially root for the husband), or Margaret's friend (designed to ask the "WTF?" question that the audience does not dare to ask). They are not characters, they are just standard tools to make the script flow---because, without them, the script would *not* go anywhere. But the sorest spot is, by far, Tim Burton's direction---or, better, lack of thereof. Nothing of his style remains anymore. Not the crazy continuous shots introducing new scenes, nor the claustrophobic and theatrical spaces, nor general sense of oddity that reflected his character's misplacement in society. There is just no personal connection between Burton and these characters. It is just a story of a likable victim that falls prey to one of Christopher Waltz's manipulative characters; and, for that matter, you might as well see the awful adaptation of "Water for Elephants" on Netflix, instead of paying to see this movie. And some scenes just felt so awkward (e.g., the fork scene, so crudely edited). Don't waste your money. Wait for HBO to make a biopic on Keane instead. And pray for Tim Burton to be brought back from the dead.
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8/10
Nice art!
meeza28 July 2016
As I am about to express my artistic review creation (or there, lack of) of the movie "Big Eyes", I must inform you that this "Big Eyes" review has plenty of cornea puns; I mean corny puns. See what I mean! OK, this Tim Burton directed movie is based on the incredible true story of painter Margaret Keane, who in the 60's painted popular paintings of sad children with big eyes. However, the eyeroller here is that her emotionally abusive husband Walter Keane was taking credit for the paintings, and no one was aware that is was Margaret who was the true artist. I am glad that Burton hid his grandiose castles and imaginary worlds this time around, and decided to go back to the passionate authentic human element as he did with "Ed Wood". So yea, nice job Tim. Moreover, we get a solid screenplay from legendary movie scripters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Amy Adams' big performance as Margaret was something for your eyes to see, and Christoph Waltz' work as Water was no fake work. We also get some good supporting work from Danny Huston, Terence Stamp, Jason Schwartzman, and Krysten Ritter. So therefore, I think you should give some Keane awareness to "Big Eyes". **** Good
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8/10
Film making could be the windows of the soul...
hitchcockthelegend8 January 2016
Directed by Tim Burton and written by Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, Big Eyes brings to the screen the story of artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), who was producing a number of paintings of waifs with big eyes that captured the art world's imagination. Unfortunately her charlatan husband (Christolph Waltz) manipulated the interest in her work to claim it as his own, leading to Margaret having to front up to the lie and take the case to court.

Quite often the beauty of filmic cinema is that it can bring notice to the public about certain topics in history. The story of Margaret Keane is a story well worth telling, it may not be all encompassing as a biography since it is just about the key part of her life, but getting the story out there is to be applauded. I myself knew nothing about the Keane case, but I'm glad I do now, this film adaptation forcing me to seek out further reading on the subject.

It actually doesn't matter if you have a bent for art on canvas (me, but I do find those paintings beautifully beguiling), this is more about the human spirit, the crushing of such and the birth of. However, sadly to a degree the film often seems at odds with itself via tonal flows. There's whimsy where there shouldn't be, the drama should be front and centre, whilst Waltz's performance is awfully cartoonish, way too animated, and these problems are laid firmly at Burton's door, an odd choice of director for the material, it's like they felt the off kilter look of the paintings marked Burton as a shoe-in to direct.

Conversely he gets a sparkling turn out of Adams, she plays Margaret as being so vulnerable but radiant, yet she's perfectly infuriating as well, tugging our heart strings whilst troubling our anger senses. It's the strength of Adams' turn that steers Big Eyes away from choppy waters, for even as the court case that makes up the finale is given too little time to breath and make the ultimate mark, Adams as Margaret holds her own court and seals the deal for a big uplift - which in turn marks Big Eyes out as a film of great warmth and importance. 7.5/10
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