Big Eyes

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Big Eyes

It’s the 1950s, and Margaret (Amy Adams) is new in San Francisco. With a young daughter and a husband she left back east, life is a struggle. But she always loved art, and it’s while trying to sell her paintings of big-eyed children on a weekend that she meets fellow artist Walter Keene (Christoph Waltz). He’s charming and a smooth talker, and by the time Margaret notices a few cracks in his story they’re already married and he’s taking the credit for her paintings – for publicity purposes, of course.
Director Tim Burton leaves a lot of his usual bag of tricks behind for this one, but while there’s two interesting angles to this story – Walter Keene being a con artist exploiting Margaret, and the idea that mass reproduction in the ’60s opened “art” up to the general public (there’s more than one reference to Andy Warhol) – Burton isn’t able to make either one seem all that dramatic. The performances are great and the film itself looks wonderful (especially the recreations of beatnik-era San Francisco) it’s just that the film never really gives us a reason to care about any of it.