Big Eyes – 2014 – Lost Tim Burton flick
Before you say anything. Of course, this isn’t a lost film in that sense. It’s more that I have completely and utterly missed it. I found it in a used bin in a second-hand shop a few days ago and was surprised that I didn’t know about it. Since Tim Burton and his movies are favorites of mine I thought that I had to do something about it. So, I bought it and put Big Eyes very high up on my “to watch” list. As you might guess my “to watch” list is an ever-increasing list that will most probably never be emptied.
Big Eyes isn’t a typical Tim Burton film I would say. If you’ve seen some of his work you know what I’m talking about. There is a particular style to most of his movies. They often explore the fantasy genre in one form or another and they tend to star Johnny Depp most of the time. I’m exaggerating of course. But the fact is that Tim Burton has often used Johnny Depp. Not in this one though. And I think that’s a good thing. Even how much I like Johnny Depp and think he’s one of the greatest actors of our time, he’ll still be Johnny Depp. The point of starring other people is that the portrayal of the characters will be more “star-free”.
I didn’t realize it before I saw it but Big Eyes is actually based on a true story. I never heard of these paintings of children with big eyes but apparently, they are a part of the American culture and their history is somewhat mysterious. Well, it’s not a mystery anymore, but there was confusion about who painted them and that’s exactly what this movie is about.
We have this young lady who paints the paintings of the children. One day she meets this man that she falls in love with and they soon get married. He’s a charismatic man and a fellow artist. Now they will live for the art. They will paint from their hearts and hopefully sells a piece now and again. It’s a complex story actually but one day this man takes credit for painting the pictures in order to complete a sale. It’s a little white lie but one thing leads to another and soon there’s a whole industry based on this one lie. In the meantime, the woman paints and paints and gets more and more distanced from reality. She gets more and more confused about who the real artist really is.
There are several ways to interpret the film, or rather the characters. Some might say that this man is a full-blown sociopath. Some might say that he’s eccentric and some might even say that he’s a mythomaniac. I’m not sure what I believe but I’m sure that I feel sorry for the woman and that I feel anger when thinking about his behavior. The acting is very good from all involved but I particularly want to mention the two leading parts; Amy Adams as Margaret Keane and Christoph Waltz as Walter Keane. A Highly recommended movie!