Big Eyes (2014)
Written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski
Directed by Tim Burton
“Espresso? Is that like reefer?” ~ Margaret Keane
I watched Big Eyes for the first time over the last two days (lunchtime movie watching), and was moved by it in ways I did not expect. Amy Adams is one of those actors that I often forget about until I see her in a film, and then, every single time, I’m blown away by her performances. She is amazing in this film, complex, emotional (often without saying anything), and heartbreaking. There were scenes that had me in tears, my heart hurting for what she was going through.
Christoph Waltz gave a remarkable performance, as well, even if I deeply despised his character. Walter was so manipulative and verbally abusive, and that charm in the beginning that only half hid what he would become was far too reminiscent of a past relationship I’d been in. I wanted Margaret, and her daughter Jane, away from him so badly.
I do wish they had explored Jane’s character more, as well as Margaret’s friendship with DeeAnn, but beyond that, I did thoroughly enjoy the film. Tim Burton’s movies can be a bit hit-or-miss with me, some I love, and others feel to formulaic and dark-cookie-cutter, but this one was unique and a compelling watch. Though I could see Burton’s hand in some of the long shots and cinematography, lighting and those surreal shots of people in the grocery store with “big eyes”, on the whole the film didn’t scream Burton, which was a plus for me, and for the integrity of the story.
Great to see both Krysten Ritter and Danny Huston in supporting roles – I only wish both characters had been expanded, and explored, more.