“Big Eyes” Review : Connecting The Dots…The Amazing True Story Of The Evolution Of Artist Margaret Keane

Amy Adams as Artist Margaret Keane

Amy Adams as Artist Margaret Keane in Big Eyes

By

Vernon Nickerson

Tim Burton’s (DARK SHADOWS, ALICE IN WONDERLAND) latest directorial tour de force, “Big Eyes”, is the true story of renowned painter Margaret Keane and her “wanna-be-artist” second husband Walter Keane, who claimed full credit for her work for over a decade.

Christoph Waltz as Walter Keane in BIG EYES

Christoph Waltz as Walter Keane in BIG EYES

Four-time Academy Award-nominee Amy Adams turns in a flawless performance as artist Margaret Keane. She is introduced as a 1950’s housewife who does everything for her husband.  As the plot progresses at a pitch-perfect clip, she learns to stand up for herself. Christoph Waltz, Academy Award winner for Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds moves seemlessly from the hero who rescues Margaret from a potentially losing custody battle with her first husband to the completely delusional villain of the piece by the films’ climax.  Adams and Waltz are ably aided and abetted by an first rate cast of veterans (Danny Huston, Jon Pulito, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman and Terence Stamp). Newcomers Delaney Raye and Madeleine Arthur display a talent and precociousness beyond their years as younger and older versions, respectively, of Keane’s only child, Jane.  Margaret’s relationship with Jane serves as primary catalyst for Margaret’s ultimate healthy self-actualization.

AMY ADAMS and CHRISTOPH WALTZ star in BIG EYES

AMY ADAMS and Christoph Waltz as Walter Keane in BIG EYES

Overall, “Big Eyes” is a spot-on tale of how a series of small decisions made from a place of desperation and fear over a lifetime have the impact of running a perfectly “normal” life completely off of the proverbial rails. I was particularly fascinated by how the far lesser known tale of Walter and Margarte Keane is actually a precursor to the journeys of other titans of massively commercialized art for the masses such as Andy Warhol and Thomas Kincaid.

Director Tim Burton with his vintage Margaret Keane paintings, October 28, 2014

Director Tim Burton with his vintage Margaret Keane paintings, October 28, 2014

The creative team of (Burton- Director and Producer), Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Writers and Producers), Lynette Howell (Producer), Derek Frey (Executive Producer), Bruno Delbonnel (Director of Photography), Rick Heinrichs (Production Designer) and Collen Atwood (Costume Designer)  completely create and pull you down into the Keane’s utterly realistic world of deceit and exploitation and deposit you thoroughly satisfied in your seat 104 minutes later.

Big Eyes 104 min

Director: Tim Burton