Big Eyes (2014) – Encore Review


“It’s like a mirage. From a distance, you look like a painter. But up close, there’s not much there.” – Margaret Keane

Number of Times Seen – 2 (15 Jan 2015 and 16 Aug 2017)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story of a female artist in the 50’s and 60’s who let her husband pose as the true artist since they didn’t believe that anyone would buy painting drawn by a woman.

My Take on it – This is the next film that Chet and Rodney of Down the Hall Podcast chose to discuss on their show, so here’s my review of it.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of Tim Burton’s films since they are usually filmed in a more Gothic aspect than I am fond of.

This film actually works even better due to his steady hand in making it since the paintings themselves are the strange element that he needs in order to tell this story using his eccentric style.

Before initially seeing this a few years back, I was deterred from seeing this due to my lack of real knowledge about the art world, but thinking the way I thought was a real fallacy since the film really isn’t about the way one piants or even about whether her paintings were good or not.

This is essentially a story about a woman’s struggle for independence in life through her painting.

She wanted to be able to support herself and her daughter by using her artistic passion to succeed.

This film is held together so well tho not by its story but by its characters.

The two leads are played by Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz and they both exquisitely portray their characters bringing them to full life in front of us.

The themes depicted here are great and they do a wonderful job portraying the struggles for women’s rights during the 50’s and 60’s.

Bottom Line – Very interesting story that says so much more about women’s rights during the 50’s and 60’s than one would expect. Adams and Waltz are both superb here and play these characters quite well.  Burton was a great choice to direct this due to the eccentric take on the story. Not a film that needs an understanding of the art world into to comprehend everything that happens here because its more of a story about a woman’s struggle for independence through the art of painting than the way one paints. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  For research, Amy Adams consulted with the real-life Margaret Keane who was in her late 80s. According to Adams, Keane was overwhelmed by the notion that anybody would want to make a film about her life. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (no change from original review)

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6 thoughts on “Big Eyes (2014) – Encore Review

  1. i thought this movie was terrific. Adams was exceptional and should’ve been Oscar nominated and Waltz as her glory grabbing liar of an abusive husband was terrific. I actually think I liked him better in this movie (his performance – not the character he played) then in the 2 Tarantino films for which he won the Oscar. I knew bits and pieces of Margaret Keane’s life – and was certainly familiar with her work – the big eyes pictures – but this film brought it all to exceptional life. I saw it when it came out – went back with one of my daughters and then bought it on DVD.

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  2. I just watched this movie for the first time last night and I quite enjoyed it. Though I disagree with the line about how Margaret went along because people wouldn’t buy art drawn by a woman. That was Keane’s flimsy excuse, she even name drops Georgia O’Keefe. She went along with the plan because she was too timid to fight his overpowering salesman and egotistical personality. An interesting marital drama disguised as a movie about art plagerism.

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    • No disguise at all. The movie was exactly what you said it was. Keane was a lying manipulator. His wife had all the talent. He tried to usurp it for fame and money – and she was kowtowed into going along. The movie shows her growth into a strong woman – unwilling to be abused by him – who stood up for herself in court and won. That scene when the judge tells them both to draw a picture – and she does – and he implodes – was a gem.

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