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Big Eyes

7/10
Drama . Biography . Crime
 

A drama centered on the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.

 
Actors: Amy Adams , Christoph Waltz , Krysten Ritter , Danny Huston , Jason Schwartzman , Terence Stamp , Jon Polito , Farryn VanHumbeck , Emily Fonda , Delaney Raye
Directors: Tim Burton
Country: USA , CANADA
Release: 2014-12-25
More Info:
  • Mick LaSalle

    Shot for shot, Big Eyes is one of the most beautiful-looking movies of 2014, but to say that isn’t enough, because it’s not just pretty, not just pleasing to the eye. It’s visually astute. It is made by people aware of what these screen images mean, what they refer to, and the psychological effect that they will have on an audience.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    There's more tenderness in Big Eyes, and a playfully framed but nonetheless emphatic you-go-girl spirit to the proceedings, as we watch Margaret - a magnificent Adams - slowly emerge from her shell.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    As eccentric as his subjects are, Burton plays things relatively straightforward. This is one of the most mainstream movies he’s ever done. It’s also one of the more entertaining movies of the year.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Adams. From the first time we saw her on the screen, we knew what she was feeling and thinking, just from staring into those huge, hopeful and sometimes hurt eyes. Her big eyes make this Big Eyes one of the best pictures of the year.

    Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Despite its sharp feminist sting, Big Eyes never loses its light touch. Maybe the lesson here is that Burton should venture out of his dark, creepy comfort zone more often.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Inkoo Kang

    Especially in a year so devoid of serious female-led dramas, it's invigorating to see a feminist crowd-pleaser with the force of moral righteousness on its side. But Big Eyes is good, not great. What keeps it from excellence is its reluctance to explore the very questions it raises.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    This nimble, bemused, culturally curious look at the married instigators of the kitschy “big eyes” paintings of the early 1960s exerts an enjoyably eccentric appeal while also painting a troubling picture of male dominance and female submissiveness a half-century ago.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    It's not a bad movie, but Big Eyes might have been better off if it had sold its audience the same bill of goods Walter Keane sold America.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Calvin Wilson

    Throughout his career, Burton has always been capable of surprising audiences. Big Eyes is no exception.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    As provocative as the questions it raises are — questions about connoisseurship vs. populism, personal expression vs. the market, and the dark arts of press, publicity and shrewd self-invention — the film’s achievements stay on the surface of those themes rather than plunging deeper.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Big Eyes is an entertaining take on a pop culture footnote, short on the bizarre flourishes Burton typically employs.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    For the most part, Big Eyes works because of its restraint - something rarely claimed about one of Burton's cinematic offspring.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Who gets to say what art is? Does honest emotion count for more than cold abstraction? If Andy Warhol likes it, does that make it OK? Big Eyes toys with some amusing ideas, and that’s enough.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Big Eyes is a fabulous match of artist — Burton — and material. While it's one of the director's more low-key works, his trademark sly wit infuses the mesmerizing stranger-than-fiction biopic.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Nimble, off the beaten track and very entertaining, it’s the cinematic equivalent of a lava lamp.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Adams is lovely and tremulous, but Big Eyes would be even better if Waltz was in the same key.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    Fortunately for Burton, Big Eyes is actually good. Not great, but good enough -- the perfect middlebrow portrait of the ultimate middlebrow artist.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    We’re left with an enigma that is insufficiently probed: How does art this banal nevertheless capture us?

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    This is Burton’s most mainstream film to date, which isn’t to say it’s not an eccentrically entertaining ride. It is, but minus the kooky occult élan you expect from the man who made "Edward Scissorhands." It’s a Lifetime movie, as directed by, well, you know who.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    Big Eyes has plenty of surface pleasures, but there was reason to expect more than that from it.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    A recent showing of Burton's artwork at New York's Museum of Modern Art attracted long lines and critical brickbats. Maybe that's why Big Eyes, for all its tonal shifts and erratic pacing, seems like Burton's most personal and heartfelt film in years, a tribute to the yearning that drives even the most marginalized artist to self expression no matter what the hell anyone thinks.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Sheila O'Malley

    Entertaining in spots, obvious and irritating in others, with a one-note schticky performance from Christopher Waltz as Walter, Big Eyes is a strangely conventional entry in Tim Burton's filmography.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Big Eyes is not dissimilar to the Keane paintings at its center. That is, it's by no means flawless, but there's an odd attraction there, something intriguing that draws you in and makes you want to find out if there's anything worthwhile there. You can say what you will about Keane's work, but in the case of Burton's film, these "Eyes" have it.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Trying to do Margaret justice, Mr. Burton can’t prevent himself (and Mr. Waltz) from upstaging her.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    The story is just so downright weird that the film can't help but be compelling. Just not as compelling as it could have been.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    The Keane story is a rich parable that deserves either a wilder or a more acute telling than Burton provides here.

    Time Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    Big Eyes contains comedy and tragedy, too, but they pair much less agreeably here, in part because each of the film’s two protagonists belongs much more to one world than the other.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    This portrait of a woman on the verge — of success, of suppression, of submission, of rebellion — is never fully realized.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Burton structures the film, right up to the fascinating finale, as both a damning tale of male privilege and a moving story of a woman’s liberation. The actors reflect these themes accordingly. Adams is touchingly restrained and Waltz is monstrously charismatic.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • James Mottram

    Adams is as watchable as ever as Margaret, backed by fine support, but the problem lies with Waltz. He’s more caricature than character, and Burton proves unable to harness his energy as well as Tarantino did.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    Certainly we care for Margaret and the way Walter has her trapped, but her character comes across as a cypher representing a great number of issues without being a real individual. This movie wants to be an oil painting, but ends up being more of a mass-produced, though good-quality print.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Ian Freer

    Tim Burton’s return to real-life storytelling is entertaining but flawed. See it for a fascinating true story and a fantastic Amy Adams. Beware the uneven tone, a lack of depth and Christoph Waltz’s monumental mugging.

    Empire Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The Keanes' story is one of eventual triumph over adversity for Margaret, but Big Eyes struggles on the page to make much of her as a character. Adams struggles as well; she's acting in one movie, a sincere, often anguished one, while Waltz (mugging up a storm) works in an entirely different key.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    A well-intentioned and resolutely minor period drama, "Big Eyes" isn't exactly a catastrophe, but its bland depiction of a fascinating story perhaps better served by the documentary treatment shows no evidence of the visionary creator behind the camera.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    Despite Amy Adams’ affecting performance as an artist and ’50s/’60s housewife complicit in her own captivity, this relatively straightforward dramatic outing for Tim Burton is too broadly conceived to penetrate the mystery at the heart of the Keanes’ unhappy marriage — the depiction of which is dominated by an outlandish, ogre-like turn from Christoph Waltz that increasingly seems to hold the movie hostage.

    Variety Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    It’s easy to see why Mr. Burton, an influential imagist in his own right and a collector of Keane paintings, was attracted to this saga of contending Keanes, and the result, photographed by Bruno Delbonnel, is a study in yummy colors and period design. But I watched wide-eyed with dismay while the film turned as lifeless as the paintings.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Dave Calhoun

    Burton lets Waltz run wild, sucking the air out of every scene with his hysterics, and the always-endearing Adams is left looking like a rabbit in the headlights.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Big Eyes may not be Tim Burton’s absolute worst movie — we’ll always have “Planet of the Apes” — but it’s pretty close to the bottom. It’s also the film that reveals his weaknesses as a director and, by their absence, his strengths. Gaudy, shallow, shrill, smug, the movie proves beyond a whisker of doubt that Burton has little interest in human beings unless they can be reduced to cartoons.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Matt Brennan

    In style as in content, it offers neither the granular detail of more subtle period pieces nor enough of Tim Burton's spirited eccentricity to register as anything other than what one character derides as "that representational jazz."

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    Campy and cartoonish, Burton’s Big Eyes is not the return to form many were hoping for. It is another phony and hollow piece of sugary kitschploitation masquerading under the guise of an “important true story” that places a nearly grotesque premium on style over any traces over substance.

    The Playlist Full Review
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  • wife husband relationship

  • artist

  • court case

  • painting

  • habitual liar

  • abusive husband

  • secret

  • ex husband ex wife relationship

  • 1950s

  • defending oneself in court

  • plagiarism

  • slander

  • trial

  • drunkenness

  • scam

  • art fraud

  • eyes

  • success

  • painter

  • 1960s

  • new york world's fair 1964 1965

  • penniless

  • bitterness

  • what happened to epilogue

  • year 2000

  • defamation

  • muse

  • procrastination

  • wall clock

  • easel

  • reference to jerry lewis

  • reference to wayne newton

  • reference to marilyn monroe

  • orphan

  • delusion

  • reference to jekyll and hyde

  • plagiarist

  • scheme

  • witness

  • mental illness

  • libel

  • lawyer

  • court

  • tv reporter

  • lawsuit

  • reference to jehovah

  • religious zealot

  • year 1949

  • mother daughter embrace

  • teletype machine

  • radio show

  • radio station

  • art factory

  • reading the bible

  • biblical quotation

  • reference to the bible

  • reference to the book of timothy in the bible

  • listening to a radio

  • listening to music on a radio

  • surf music

  • flash forward

  • insanity

  • arson

  • house on fire

  • pursuit

  • looking through a keyhole

  • vase

  • banging on a door

  • locked door

  • running

  • throwing a lighted match at someone

  • betrayal

  • hitting one's head on a fireplace

  • gay slur

  • breaking a glass coffee table

  • wooden crate

  • stabbed with a fork

  • fork

  • kitsch

  • art review

  • reading a newspaper

  • book

  • attempted stabbing

  • expose

  • scandal

  • life magazine

  • hidden key

  • key

  • new york city

  • war orphan

  • sarcasm

  • art school

  • art portfolio

  • cover up

  • archive footage

  • reference to michelangelo

  • reference to pierre auguste renoir

  • reference to mona lisa the painting

  • reference to leonardo da vinci

  • tears

  • crying

  • art thief

  • stolen art

  • talking to a dog

  • french poodle

  • dog

  • f word

  • wet bar

  • reference to the beach boys

  • doorbell

  • year 1963

  • woodside california

  • reference to kim novak

  • reference to merv griffin

  • reference to harpo marx

  • reference to david rose

  • reference to red skelton

  • reference to natalie wood

  • waif

  • reference to bob hope

  • reflection in a store window

  • postcard

  • initials

  • numerology

  • reference to paul gauguin

  • father daughter relationship

  • reference to the tooth fairy

  • family relationships

  • gossip columnist

  • reference to amedeo modigliani

  • chauvinist

  • chauvinism

  • pride

  • footsteps

  • hallucination

  • magazine

  • supermarket

  • grocery store

  • greed

  • telephone call

  • telephone

  • art reproduction

  • raised middle finger

  • montage

  • wiping a tear away

  • innocence

  • post world war two

  • lack of confidence

  • attic

  • fear

  • bribe

  • knocking on a door

  • watching tv

  • acrylic painting

  • oil painting

  • sketching

  • champagne

  • keane gallery san francisco

  • art gallery opening

  • year 1960

  • moral dilemma

  • ethics

  • priest

  • methodist

  • looking at one's self in a mirror

  • confession

  • confessional

  • church

  • stepfather lies to his stepdaughter

  • mother lies to her daughter

  • adult lies to a child

  • mirror

  • liar

  • lie

  • murder threat

  • year 1964

  • printing machine

  • nickname

  • reference to madame chiang kai shek

  • knocking on a glass wall

  • con man

  • scraping paint off a painting

  • signing a painting

  • suspicion

  • stepfather stepdaughter relationship

  • staple gun

  • poster

  • pay phone

  • reference to joan crawford

  • soviet ambassador

  • ambassador

  • mayor

  • industrialist

  • bank check

  • sunglasses

  • typewriter

  • olivetti typewriter

  • italian

  • deceit

  • deception

  • rock music

  • listening to music

  • journalist

  • tickling someone's nose

  • sleeping on a couch

  • test pattern on tv screen

  • eyeglasses

  • celebrity

  • newspaper columnist

  • newspaper headline

  • fight

  • hit over the head with a painting

  • hit with a painting

  • hit in the face

  • reference to pablo picasso

  • child

  • women's bathroom

  • men's bathroom

  • camera

  • drinking

  • drink

  • wine

  • art exhibition

  • microphone

  • cigarette smoking

  • reference to joseph mccarthy

  • art gallery owner

  • jazz music

  • expressionism

  • jellybean

  • reference to mark rothko

  • reference to wassily kandinsky

  • reference to jesus christ

  • reference to tab hunter

  • chinatown san francisco

  • fortune cookie

  • naivety

  • womanizer

  • friendship

  • friend

  • polaroid photograph

  • reference to god

  • swimsuit

  • wedding

  • marriage

  • proposing marriage on bended knee

  • single mother

  • child custody

  • mail

  • kiss

  • realtor

  • real estate

  • difficulty hearing

  • staring

  • deafness

  • surgery

  • posing

  • holding hands

  • abandoned by husband

  • abandoned by wife

  • quitting a job

  • eating

  • food

  • restaurant

  • cafe

  • streetcar

  • apology

  • chinese boy

  • flirting

  • reference to camille pissarro

  • reference to claude monet

  • 9 year old

  • girl

  • boy

  • job interview

  • street artist

  • baby bed

  • furniture company

  • portrait painting

  • looking for a job

  • marital separation

  • applying lipstick

  • marijuana

  • modern art

  • espresso

  • north beach san francisco

  • golden gate bridge san francisco

  • suburb

  • scene during opening credits

  • wedding photograph

  • photograph

  • suitcase

  • northern california

  • year 1958

  • begins with quotation

  • reference to andy warhol

  • copying machine

  • fraud

  • fame

  • flash camera

  • photographer

  • film camera

  • large format camera

  • bechdel test passed

  • marriage proposal

  • honeymoon

  • beach

  • signature

  • publicity

  • street fair

  • salesman

  • money

  • mother daughter relationship

  • turpentine

  • fire

  • ego

  • world's fair

  • unicef

  • argument

  • swimming pool

  • art studio

  • studio

  • newspaper

  • art critic

  • critic

  • art gallery

  • gallery

  • bar

  • reporter

  • voice over narration

  • shouting

  • jury

  • courtroom

  • judge

  • crying woman

  • jehovah's witness

  • san francisco california

  • honolulu hawaii

  • hawaii

  • divorcee

  • divorce

  • husband wife relationship

  • art

  • based on true story

  • title spoken by character

1