Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Big Eyes Review

I bet if you looked at the title of this movie, saw the poster, and then realized it was directed by Tim Burton, you might immediately assume that this is yet another one of his weird, crazy movies. And you'd probably make the assumption that the movie stars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. I mean, Big Eyes sounds like a creepy movie. And the poster is of a little girl with giant eyes. That looks a bit creepy. However, this is not what you would expect it to be. This doesn't star Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. It stars Chistoph Waltz and Amy Adams. And it's actually not creepy at all. This is a very normal movie. Yes, you heard me. Tim Burton has made a normal movie. Now personally I do enjoy a lot of Tim Burton's weird movies. But I'm also impressed when someone can go out of their comfort zone, so to speak, and give us something very different from what they usually do.

While Big Eyes sounds like a creepy title, it really is referencing the type of paintings that one Margaret Keane liked to paint. She painted people, typically children, with big eyes because it had a lot of meaning to her. Yes, Margaret Keane is a real person and this movie is essentially a biopic of her, focusing on the big legal issue with her and her husband Walter Keane. Shortly after they got married, Walter began a small white lie by telling someone that he painted wife's painting. That one little lie led to another little lie and before you know it, both of them were trapped in a huge lie that was hard to turn back on because he suddenly was becoming a huge painter. Margaret didn't like him taking credit for her paintings, but she didn't have the strong personality to stand up and stop him, especially since he was experiencing so much success that gave the both of them a lot of money. Adding to that is that he had a very outgoing, strong personality that made it more difficult for her to stand up against.

This leads to a very interesting story that I was completely invested in. At first you like Walter because he is a charming, fun guy. But then as he continues this lie, you like him less and less. And the whole time you are rooting for Margaret to somehow make it through this. What makes the story even more interesting is the very strong performances from both Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams. Christoph Waltz does overact a bit I think, but he still does a good job. Amy Adams is what makes this movie, though. The more I see of her, the more I am in love with her as an actress. And this performance here I think is her best performance. By now she is definitely an Oscar darling as she has been nominated for five Oscars in the last ten years. I think she deserves to get her sixth with this performance. And I say that because her performance felt very honest. Sometimes you'll see actors in Oscar-bait roles trying so hard to get that Oscar that it makes the performance feel less impressive. This is definitely not the case here. I felt Amy Adams was simply doing her best job to be the best Margaret Keane. It didn't seem like she was trying to act her best to finally get that win she deserves. Because of that, I think she deserves the nomination. The win? I don't know. I haven't seen all the performances yet, so I'll judge then.

In the end, I didn't quite know what to expect from this movie going in. I was hoping it would be good, but I wasn't crossing my fingers. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised as I just adored this movie. It was a great story with great acting that sucked me in completely. I was cheering out loud as good things happened and I was yelling at the screen with bad things happened. When you get me that invested in a movie, you know you did a good job. And don't worry, I didn't bother anyone around me in the process. I had the theater all to myself. So yes, Big Eyes is an excellent movie that you should definitely give a shot. I was really impressed with Tim Burton in doing this very normal film. And I was even more impressed with Amy Adams at how honest and real of a performance she pulled off in this. Give that woman her sixth Oscar nomination! My grade for Big Eyes is a 9/10.

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