Big Eyes*

big-eyes-5
A. Adams as Margaret, and C. Waltz as Walter/image: variety.com

 Amy Adams is a very gifted actor with lots of little nuances about her technique which keeps her acting fresh. She can keep the audience invested even if the role she’s playing is somewhat weak, withdrawn, non confrontational, and lacks confidence. And in this movie she articulates this beautifully. She’s hesitant, restrained, and yet, somehow in your face all at the same time and makes this role Oscar worthy. It’s interesting when an actor can pull all this off, while convincing you she’s not acting. 

The Premise…

Margaret Keane's work/image: writtenignition.com
Margaret Keane’s work/image: writtenignition.com

Centered on Margaret, Adams, a young woman with a daughter that she takes with her, leaves her first husband in the early 50’s something that wasn’t very popular or looked very highly on if the woman was the was the one leaving. So in desperation she moves to San Francisco near her single girlfriend, DeeAnn, Krysten Ritter, for moral support. There she meets a man, Walter Keane, Christoph Waltz who is very chipper and a fast talking fellow artist. And as she seeks to reinvent herself they become fast friends and she begins to gain confidence to pursue her painting talents, by his urging. Then Walter asks her to marry him and begins selling her work, as he tries to sell his own, but the problem is he’s a fly in the ointment and not after her best interests but his own.

With the ubiquitous chauvinistic 50’s women felt pressure to have a man define them. And it’s intriguing to note how wolves know a sheep when they see one and pounce on it, and in this scenario, Margaret is the sheep and her future husband is the wolf. Which is a sad commentary on the 50’s since women were even more burdened down when they were a divorc­ée. So with that the story took off from there.

The Sum Up…

The real Margaret Keane now/image: usatoday.com
The real Margaret Keane now with Amy Adams to the right/image: usatoday.com

It was refreshing knowing that Tim Burton directed this movie and Johnny Depp wasn’t in it. It was unusual to not see special effects and eclectic costumes, which made you forget you were watching a Burton film, and I appreciated his restraint and maturity in his directing style. Keane, Waltz, was somewhat convincing as the fast talking, con man. But this movie was all Adams, she played this role in such a way that all you could think of was, less is definitely more. So my score for this film is, B ~ NOTE WORTHY, see either in theaters or on DVD but see it. The reason I didn’t give it an A is because, Waltz was too over the top and he seemed like he was acting and Tim should have used a different actor to play the single girlfriend, DeeAnn, Ritter was terrible, and thank goodness her scenes where short and few. No Safety Alerts here, but this movie is not for kids under 12. With good directing, and decent writing it’s a go see. This movie is rated PG13.

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