Non-Fiction or Fiction? Most people have a preference. Even if one is a non-fiction lover, this author likes to think most people would prefer Tim Burton to direct FICTIONAL films, as all his classics were such. In Big Eyes, it would likely be classified as Non-Fiction. Deviating from the norm is something this director is no stranger to. However, deviating from the norm of his own style, was not necessarily the best path, in terms of his latest works overall quality.
The film is about the Keanes, and their mark on art halfway through the century of the 1900’s. The synopsis of the film, in a time period where women were deprived of equal right and equal opportunity (a theme/social issue very much still relevant today, sadly), a woman and her daughter are trying to survive in the competitive rat race, though in the field that Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) strives to work in. Painting. To call her a good painter is beyond modest; she’s a brilliant painter. The film revolves around the relationship around her and Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), her betrothed, then husband, and how he takes advantage of her talent and uses his social status for his own financial gain. There’s much more to it than that and only a viewing will unveil its secrets.
Burton would have been hardly guessed as the films director had it not been for the EYE imagination scenes. The picture hardly signals his typical style, though the overall execution of it is DECENT, at best. The acting from Amy Adams and Cristoph Waltz is excellent and Jason Schwartzman provides a laugh or two also.
Great cinematography and lush visuals complement this film. Quality sound too. It shouldn’t win any awards, though its a solid script from Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. It’s a nice addition to Burton’s resume, though it doesn’t even rank in his top ten, films wise. As this author watched it, he wanted more and more and never got it. Was hoping the deviation of style from Burton, was only temporarily; it wasn’t. We got a brief glimpse of what Burton was capable of, and that’s it. It also had very little wow factor. It told its story and it told it well, with premium acting and with a tad of Burton’s signature style. Beyond that though? This film is just another face in the crowd. One with big eyes, though not a memorable face.