Big Eyes

BIG EYES

PG-13

2014, Biography/Drama, 1h 46m

72%

TOMATOMETER195 Reviews

68%

AUDIENCE SCORE25,000+ Ratings

WHAT TO KNOW

CRITICS CONSENSUS

Well-acted, thought-provoking, and a refreshing change of pace for Tim Burton, Big Eyes works both as a biopic and as a timelessly relevant piece of social commentary. Read critic reviews

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BIG EYES PHOTOS

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MOVIE INFO

In the late 1950s and early ’60s, artist Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) achieves unbelievable fame and success with portraits of saucer-eyed waifs. However, no one realizes that his wife, Margaret (Amy Adams), is the real painter behind the brush. Although Margaret is horrified to learn that Walter is passing off her work as his own, she is too meek to protest too loudly. It isn’t until the Keanes’ marriage comes to an end and a lawsuit follows that the truth finally comes to light.

CAST & CREW

Amy Adams
Margaret Keane
Christoph Waltz
Walter Keane
Danny Huston
Dick Nolan
Terence Stamp
John Canaday

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CRITIC REVIEWS FOR BIG EYES

The stranger-than-fiction biopic Big Eyes is only the second of [Tim Burton’s] non-animated pictures to have a woman at its center, and, perhaps not surprisingly, it’s one of the richest portraits he’s brought to the screen yet.

Burton had a chance to make a powerful statement on the struggle for a woman to achieve artistic recognition and instead settled for another childlike fairy tale.

Burton is telling a fascinating story here, and his confident sense of time and place, allied to Adams’s adept performance as the increasingly assertive artist, provide many pleasures.

A feminist psycho-melodrama made without insight or dramatic excitement.

Ultimately boils down to being just another movie about an abusive marriage.

Big Eyes still has a fascinating story to tell, re-creating the world of Beat-era San Francisco and shooting a Hawaiian honeymoon in glowing Technicolor tones.

…both a fascinating biopic and a truly feminist piece of cinema.

Tim Burton hits all the right feminist notes in setting the stage for her inspiring breakout. This is a must see.

A skillful, if a little thin look at an artist’s soul and the soulless shark who tried to steal it from her.

Even during its best moments, the film is only a simple, small, pleasant digression.

The movie has merit as a depiction of an unusual episode in art history. Unfortunately, the director does not probe the incident in any depth, and what he does make of it is largely wrong.

It cannot be denied that it is picturesque at times, but only to support the provocative histrionics of the neurotic performances of Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams. [Full review in Spanish]

AUDIENCE REVIEWS FOR BIG EYES

  • Dec 13, 2016
    Tim Burton avoids another misfire and delivers a relatively entertaining film with a solid ending. Christoph Waltz is great as usual, Amy Adams does well. Tim Burton’s distinct style is here, but it’s a lot more subtle than any other movie he’s done. Colors pop and it’s a visually pleasing movie, as a film about a painter should be. Big Eyes is one of those cases where a film doesn’t have any particular flaws, but it probably won’t stick in your memory for too long.

    Kevin MSUPER REVIEWER
  • Sep 26, 2016
    Tim Burton’s work usually sparks a divisive feeling amongst fans, but it’s not often I feel so torn about one of his films. On one hand it’s an extraordinary story which I’m glad was told on the big screen, but I don’t know that Burton was the right man for the job. Margaret Keane is truly one of the most treasured artists of the last century. Her work with the ‘Big Eyes’ paintings are immensely popular, but it wasn’t always her who took the credit. Her husband, Walter Keane, played by Christoph Waltz, claimed to be the artist behind the big eyes for a decade. This secret damaged Margaret’s relationship with her daughter and her friends, and it’s the basis for Burton’s colorful film. The problem is that this film is trying to literally and metaphorically paint too many pictures. The tone is all over the place. It’s a biographical film by nature, a comedy or musical according the golden globes, and even a horror film in one stupendously ridiculous scene. Okay, the last two are a far reach for several reasons, but Burton never really manages to nail down exactly how he wishes to tell the story. And that’s unfortunate, because it’s a fascinating one. With that said, Amy Adams is one of the few bright spots here. Not like that’s surprisingly, considering she’s been nominated for an Oscar 5 times, but it’s worth mentioning. As she has done so many times, balancing strength and vulnerability is one of her finest attributes as an actress, and that’s on display here. She’s just so dang likable. Perhaps, that’s also because Waltz is so far out of place here. It honestly feels like Burton asked him to bring his brilliant portrayal of Hans Landa into a PG-13 biographical drama. I don’t know Walter Keane in real life, but I do know when an actor is acting in a completely different movie than the rest of his fellow actors. Whether it was Burton or Waltz’s fault, the performance wasn’t anything to ride home about. It’s unfortunate just how awkward and tonally inconsistent Big Eyes feels, Margaret Keane and her work deserves a better film than this. I’m a huge fan of Burton’s work, but this just wasn’t the right project for him. +Amy Adams -Tonally all over the place -Waltz is out of control -Does disservice to an incredible story 4.8/10

    Thomas DSUPER REVIEWER
  • Feb 27, 2016
    Not at all what I expected from a Tim Burton movie. Quite pleasantly surprised. I had never heard of this artist, so the whole story was new to me. Though not exactly thrilling, it was quite interesting and I did find I got quite involved in the outcome. I loathed that husband by the end. Really couldn’t stand him. I liked the court scene near the end. Amy Adams is great but unrecognisable. I thought the actress who played her young daughter was also very good.
    Nicki MSUPER REVIEWER
  • Jan 12, 2016
    If I were to speculate about what happened behind the scenes when they made this, it felt as if Tim Burton was given a sort of a dare: “you couldn’t make a regular film if you tried!” and that this film was the answer to that challenge. Adams and Waltz seem to endeavor to stretch beyond the Movie-Of-The-Week limitations in place but fail, kitsch ultimately winning out over sentimentality. It’s a generic film, surprisingly so.
    Kevin M. WSUPER REVIEWER

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