Big Eyes

2014

Action / Biography / Crime / Drama / Romance

184
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 72%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 70%
IMDb Rating 7 10 69549

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Krysten Ritter as DeeAnn
Christoph Waltz as Walter Keane
Amy Adams as Margaret Keane
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
811.73 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 6 / 62
1.65 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 3 / 35

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dissident320 5 / 10

Fine but forgettable

I recently watched Ed Wood which is a biopic Tim Burton did 20 years prior to this. It's almost astounding how different they are. In Big Eyes the characters are charmless, the story is bland and even the overall look of the movie has no discernible qualities.

Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are fine but they certainly don't elevate any of this decidedly mediocre material. Everyone appears to be coasting through this movie. The director, the cinematographer and the supporting cast are doing no more than getting the job done.

I think it did a good job of portraying that style of art becoming popular and the overall cheapening of what she was creating. But it never wants to present her as a real artist. It more treats it like a parlour trick.

It's difficult to map the exact movie where Tim Burton became mediocre but this one is a great example of why I don't usually don't make a point to watch his films anymore. They don't feel like his movies anymore right down to the stories and the set design.

Re-watch Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood or even Sleepy Hollow before you consider bothering with this.

Reviewed by sddavis63 6 / 10

Interesting Biopic, But A Knowledge of The Keanes And/Or Art Would Have Made It Moreso

I have to say right off the top that I am no aficionado of art. I say that to make the point that there's nothing about the basic subject of the movie that leaped out at me. It was my wife who watched this and told me that because she had enjoyed it so much I had to watch it. And after checking it out I decided that since it starred Amy Adams (whom I adore!) I would watch it. And I will say that it's an interesting movie - a biopic about Margaret Keane and her efforts to gain credit for her artwork. Mind you, a lot of that was lost on me. I am so unfamiliar with the art world that I had never heard of Margaret Keane or Walter Keane or big-eyed waifs. That was all brand new to me - and, I suppose in that sense, that made the movie worthwhile (although not particularly engrossing) because I did learn something from it.

Margaret Keane's life was difficult. She seems to have been a woman who lacked self-confidence. The movie opens with her leaving what must have been a troubled marriage (although nothing much is really said about it) with her young daughter in tow. There's a little bit about her attempts to make it as a single mom (in the 1950's, when that would have been very much out of the ordinary) but for the most part this deals with her relationship with Walter Keane. They meet and fall in love very quickly. Walter had been painting (maybe?) Parisian street scenes while Margaret had concentrated on her big-eyed children. They quickly fell in love and married and Walter began both showing Margaret's work - and claiming credit for it. "Keane" artwork became both popular and profitable as it started to be spun off onto posters and postcards, etc. etc., but even as the deception gave Walter and Margaret a very comfortable life, the tension between the two increased. Basically, the movie depicts Margaret's increasing resentment of Walter taking credit for her work, and Walter becoming ever more controlling and even dangerous. The movie culminates in their eventual divorce and a court trial which established her as the artist.

I found this interesting as a study of Margaret's life and personality and her growing self-confidence, and it was very satisfying to see her finally revealed as the artist. The background reading I've done since suggests this portrayal (while taking a few liberties) is largely accurate. Any Adams did a fine job in the role. Christoph Waltz was solid as Walter - sometimes fun-loving, sometimes hostile and frightening, sometimes even violent. Personally, I appreciated the look at the snobbery of the world of art critics, who are largely represented by Terence Stamp's portrayal of New York Times art critic John Canaday - who hated the big eyes. But frankly if people liked the big-eyes then who was Canaday (or any other art critic) to speak so contemptuously about them? The movie was directed by Tim Burton. There's not a lot of his classic, quirky Burton-esque style on display here - although the opening scene, which was a picture of the street Margaret lived on with her first husband, did strike me as the sort of street scene you'd find in perhaps "Edward Scissorhands."

I found this movie enjoyable and interesting - but because of my lack of interest in the art world I had no strong connection with any of the characters. Had I been interested in art I would probably have rated it much higher. than the 6/10 that I gave it.

Reviewed by elicopperman 8 / 10

Great Biography

Kitsch, a term known in the art industry that describes all art design that is seen as poor taste from excessive crudeness or sentimentality, despite being admired ironically. That is what best describes the paintings of big eyed waifs by Margaret Keane as depicted in the biographical film, Big Eyes, about Margaret's husband, Walter Keane, who took all the credit for her paintings for the public to know. Directed by Tim Burton, written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, and starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz as the integral couple, this has to be one of the most underrated films in recent years, and a rather intelligent social commentary about commercialism tackling against sexism in the media and psychological abuse.

The first thing to take notice of Big Eyes is how it manages to tackle behind the scenes trauma of all the fame garnished towards the wrong person. The film briefly but understandably gives Margaret a clear explanation as to why she exaggerates the eyes in all her children and why her paintings consist of children in general, due to her daughter Jane being the closest person to her and once having temporary impaired hearing causing her to use her eyes to visualize the world. When she paints her waifs, she is not simply designing pupils for the sake of shock value, more so to express herself from her eyes as gateways to the soul.

It's made evident that Walter Keane admires art and originally wanted to showcase his work of landscapes, yet him taking credit for his wife's waifs creates himself as one of the biggest plagiarists in the art media. At first, Walter states to some civilians that he painted the waifs for sale pitches, but as the paintings become more beloved, he soon believes his own lies and rolls with them. Funny how Margaret painted the waifs with average art equipment such as pencils, brushes and acrylic, yet never once is Walter ever seen painting, despite claiming to have studied in Paris. What keeps Margaret from saying who truly painted the waifs is her shyness, her controlling husband, and the sexist belief that art done by women isn't taken with sincerity.

Adding on to the leads, the acting is phenomenal with Amy Adams portraying Margaret as subtly strong and optimistic despite feeling knotted by her husband making her weak to succeed. It's their marriage that shows how personal Margaret's work is to her and how devastated she is in Walter's undeserved fame and wanting to reveal the real culprit. Christoph Waltz depicts Walter almost like Jekyll and Hyde, by starting off as a charming and out spoken conman before growing into a deranged and excessive psycho. The popularity has him use Margaret as a painting machine without public consumption while using his time in Europe as the inspiration for the sad waifs, thus contrasting between the flawed success and hidden truth.

Other minor characters like Dick Nolan, Ruben, Enrico Banducci and John Canaday either come off as mere obstacles or driving forces for the leads in the commercial fame, critical scorning, and art-house crowd. It's interesting how Walter at one point lashes at Canaday for his negative remarks towards his alleged work in a way of failing to take criticism, when Canaday isn't quite wrong and actually states how art should "elevate—not pander". However, the most noteworthy supporting persona is none other than Margaret's daughter, Jane, as the inspiration for the big-eyed paintings. Because of this, Margaret tries to keep her from finding out who really paints the waifs, down to asking a priest for advice after lying to her only child.

The screenplay is not only insightful but also quite funny at times as it explores the art scene of the 50s and 60s while seeing typical reactions from the art house snobs, professional critics, and especially the general public alike. One of the most notable efforts in the film is the pretty yet fitting cinematography that emphasizes Margaret's sudden clashing of her imagination against reality. A notable instance of this kind of style is when Margaret enters a boorish supermarket display of her art, and then she visualizes everyone around her with the limpid, haunting eyes of her waifs unbeknownst to the public. It's the way Margaret's nightmares capture the darker side of the real world that makes her trapped soul consume her sheltered life.

Lastly, the trial scene is near exact to the real-life Keane trail that took place in the mid 60s to really showcase Walter's absurd lies and desperation for claiming himself as the true artist. This makes Margaret all the more sympathetic and respectful, down to where she managed to befriend Jehovah's witnesses and even gave them her secret. It was after so many years of hiding in the shadows that Margaret could finally spill the beans in a new state (Hawaii) about who those paintings rightfully belonged to, no matter how kitschy. It soon becomes nearly evident that almost if not everyone is on Margaret's side due to her earnest delivery and free will to say the truth about Walter regarding both his plagiarism and notable abusive nature.

Usually known for mixing surreal Gothic material and quirky whimsy, Tim Burton accomplishes in crafting a thought provoking, sharp witted, and mildly powerful biopic never afraid of approaching the most outrageous copyright battle in art history. Burton portrayed Margaret Keane as a sheltered albeit hopeful artist wishing the world to see the real creator, not too different from that of Ed Wood. Like that film, she may have been stooped low by those around her, but she always remained positive by making what she loved. Those paintings seemed quite curious but not too distant from their time period, and they manage to still feel relevant today by appealing to anyone fascinated by surreal perspectives of the human mind, like Burton and Keane.

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