106 Min | Biography – Drama | December 2014
IMDB Rating: 7.0
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter
Big Eyes Review: “Big Eyes,” by far, is the saddest film of the three, concerning a young mother who chose to separate from her husband in the “all is well,” cheery times of the 1950’s to only become entangled in a second marriage that would further exploit her for all she was worth in a way that could’ve been worse than her first. The story of Big Eyes, is of Margaret (Amy Adams), who left her husband almost dead broke and with little employment options being inexperienced and a woman. All Margaret knew was she loved to paint and was good at it, often drumming up solid business at local art fairs where she would paint pictures of patrons, emphasizing the features brought forth on their eyes and their pupils. She believed the eyes were the windows to the soul and defined emotion and momentary contentment through those particular windows.
Burton conducts “Big Eyes” with his trademark sense of manipulation and exaggeration of conventions, situations, and environments. Consider how dreamlike and antiseptic Margaret’s suburban home with her first husband looks, echoing the plasticity of the environment in Burton’s classic “Edward Scissorhands.” Consider how frequently lush and saturated Margaret’s environment becomes when she starts painting, as colors and fine details push themselves into the foreground and show you how beautiful of a film this becomes from a visual standpoint. The way Burton blends surrealism into Big Eyes makes the madness unfold in an even greater manner, with the scene where Margaret is shopping in a supermarket and sees her paintings and artistic works cheapened to ubiquitous reproductions being one of favorite scenes this year.
In Big Eyes, Waltz pulls it off tremendously here, being menacing at times but always fiercely watchable thanks to his character’s ability to do such horrible things while remaining smiley and acting as if he is not doing anything wrong. Adams, here, is a marvel as well, quiet, thoughtful, unlike her husband, and carries robot-like sentiment in the best way during the film, moving like a programmed automaton when we can see so much is going on inside her that she’s on the brink of a mental burnout. “Big Eyes” is a great film thanks to its performances and impeccable visuals, but sneaks up on you with the weight and emotional-strength of its themes about artistic integrity and being coerced into the compromise of one’s vision in the worst possible way. It wasn’t until I walked out of this film, alone and in a contemplative mood, Big Eyes was the saddest film.