Sunday, January 11, 2015


BIG EYES is a well-acted biopic starring Amy Adams as Margaret Keane, whose husband Walter (Christoph Waltz) passed off her phenomenally popular if schmaltzy portraits of big-eyed kids as his own  throughout the 1950s and 1960s.  Finally she struck up the courage to leave him and then to sue him, proving beyond doubt she was the artist when the judge asked them both to create one  of the iconic pictures. This story is retold by Tim Burton in one of his least Burton-esque pictures. It doesn't star his typical actors and doesn't have his typical trademark gothic style.  That's actually a good thing, because this is a great and claustrophobic story about a woman suckered into a lie by a good liar, and suffocated by the consequences. All you need to do is cast two good actors, stand back, and let them do their thing. And this is exactly what happens.  Christoph Waltz is perfectly cast as Walter. He's charming and his energy wraps you up and makes it convincing that a good, if shy woman could be carried along on the crest of a wave and not realise she had imprisoned herself before it was too late.  And Amy Adams has that amazing mix of vulnerability of strength so that both her complicity and then her escape feel authentic. In a sense,this is a story of a abusive marriage.  There's no beating or drinking but that tell-tale symptom - a loss of self, vanishing into oneself - is there. Apart from the beautifully enacted drama, what else is there? One trademark flash of Burtonism - a spooky gothic nightmare in which everyone Margaret meets has her big eyes - and pointed cameos from Terence Stamp as an unimpressed art critic and Jason Schwartzman as a jealous gallery owner.

BIG EYES has a running time of 106 minutes and is rated PG-13.  BIG EYES is on release in the USA, Spain, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Taiwan, Greece, Italy, Poland, Hong Kong, India and Latvia. It opens on January 15th in Israel, Malaysia, Russia, Estonia and Romania; on January 23rd in Japan; on Japan 29th in Brazil, Singapore and Iceland; on February 5th in Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Lithuania; on February 12th in Iraq and Kuwait; on February 19th in Hungary; on February 25th in Philippines, Portugal and Croatia; on March 5th in Denmark, Mexico, Sweden and Turkey; on March 12th in Chile, Peru and Finland; on March 18th in Belgium and France; on March 27th in Norway; on April 16th in Argentina; on April 23rd in Germany and on July 24th in Venezuela. 

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