Big Eyes (2014): A drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.
Well, it has happened again. I don't really know what to say about this movie. Hm....Big Eyes is a very mixed bag of goodies. On one hand, you have a very interesting story concerning the Big Eyes saga, which did garner a rather significant amount of attention back in the 60s and 70s. The story is a very dramatic one, and as a result some of my favorite scenes in film this year thus far occur here, particularly surrounding the third act and Christoph Waltz. One of these scenes from this third act in my five favorite movie moments of 2014. But....on the other hand...the Tim Burton elements of the movie were unnecessary and unwelcome, and Christoph Waltz outperforms Amy Adams by such a wide margin it legitimately made me depressed. Ya. I know. I love Amy Adams. She's one of my favorite actresses in Hollywood, putting in my favorite performance by an actress last year for her performance in American Hustle. And she's good here still! But here is an instance where the screen-hogging of the co-lead was not welcome, and, despite Christoph Waltz being exceptional, he is screen-hogging, and it really diminishes the performance of Amy Adams. Anyway, let's begin.
So...I should preface this section with an unpopular opinion: I am not the biggest fan of Tim Burton. To all those who wish to lynch me now, I am sorry. But you can't deny Burton has a little streak of sh*tty movie going for him right now. I mean Dark Shadows? C'mon. Frankenweenie? Awful. So with his movie I feel like corporate might of told Tim Burton to make a bit more of a "normal" film. A lot of the Burton elements that make Tim Burton...uh...Tim Burton where removed, and the elements that still were there, like a really over-dramatic voiceover, was not very welcomed. Seriously. Why couldn't Tim Burton have watched Wolf of Wall Street and then model his voiceover after that? Nope, the voiceover here is trying to screen-hog, even though he's not even on the bloody screen. Also there were other Burton elements, particularly surrounding a character played by the great Terence Stamp, that were unwelcome as well. Actually, this character was overall very poorly written, which was a shame given the fact that its a very essential character to the story.
And yet....there were some truly great moments here. The story is very dramatic, and the writers (Scot Alexander and Larry Karaszewski) decided to focus primarily on the story itself and not the characters which I personally enjoyed. While it did make some of the decisions Amy Adams would make a little hard to follow, there was so much ground to cover in 106 minutes that I'm kind of glad that they covered the story. This made the events themselves much easier to understand. Additionally, Chirstoph Waltz decent into madness was fantastic to watch. This lead to a payoff that is one of my favorite scenes in a film this year. Amy Adams is good too, even though she is dominated by Waltz. Already had me thing on that so I won't go into it again. Um....what else....I guess the production value is pretty good! You need good production value when you do a period piece and it is solid, but not great.
I really don't know what else to say about this movie. I was a little disappointed by this movie. It's sadly just average, however it is one of the better average movies I've seen. Does that make any sense? No? Well, sorry. If you like art, or the big eye movement, or Christoph Waltz, go see this movie. If not, your time is better spent elsewhere I promise.
The Critique: An oddly average movie featuring a fascinating story and many poorly executed elements. A mixed bag.
The Recommendation: You know what I just said before? I'm gonna say it again. If you like art, or the big eye movement, or Christoph Waltz, go see this movie. If not, your time is better spent elsewhere I promise.
The Verdict: 5.5/10 Slightly Above Average
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