Big Eyes

2015 drama

Rating: 14/20

Plot: Based on a true story, this documents the husband/wife fight over a bunch of painting of children with absurdly-huge eyes.

I can't decide if this should have had more to say about women in the 1950s and 60s or if its subtle approach was just fine.

I also can't decide if I liked Christoph Waltz in this. The performance sizzles and I enjoyed every single moment he was on the screen, but he was almost distracting. It's almost like he was stealing Amy Adams' spotlight which, I guess, works as a meta-metaphor for what Walter Keane did to Margaret. Waltz is delightfully goofy, his character just contradiction upon contradiction. But he brings a charm to the character that is necessary in this entire story making sense, a charisma that helps you understand how all these other characters are drawn to him. He's got to be one of the most likable villains I've seen in a long time. Amy Adams, who I'm still not convinced that I like, is fine, overshadowed by the wackiness that Waltz brings to the story, but you're definitely able to sympathize with her character. The movie doesn't work if that doesn't happen.

Tim Burton seems to be at his best at this point in his career when working biographically. The setting is Scissorhanded, but there's nothing that screams Tim Burton about anything that's going on here which is probably a good thing. This lacks distracting fantasy elements. The only fantastical excursion takes place in a grocery store, but that scene's a standout, reminiscent of creepiness in the scene where Roddy Piper slips on those sunglasses in They Live. Danny Elfman, attached to Tim Burton's hip apparently, does the music for this, but nothing he added really worked for me at all. Elfman, at his worst, is going to give you something memorable. The music in this was distracting and bland.

All in all, I enjoyed the movie because of its important feminist-angled story and the whimsical performance of Waltz.

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