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Big Eyes is the latest film by legendary filmmaker Tim Burton and it seems as if this is the endeavor that will serve as a sort of creative resurrection for the director. Lead by Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes is a beautiful rejuvenation of Burton’s skills as a creator and storyteller.
The film is very much grounded in reality and is not heavily featured as the dark and twisted style of movie audiences are used to seeing Burton produce in recent years. Big Eyes is a story based on true events that took place in the 1960’s. The artist Margaret Keane, played by Adams, is the story’s main focal point and it reveals the tale of how her husband, Walter Keane, helped to produce her artwork and garner a substantial following and eventually an iconic status with her pieces. The only problem was that Walter had convinced the world that it was he who had created all the beautiful paintings, giving his wife no credit whatsoever for her immense amount of hard work.
This charade, according to the film, carried on for ten years and Margaret remained extremely silent on the matter, telling no one, not even her very own daughter. As the years go by, Walter becomes obsessed with his false empire and sees nothing but dollar signs, blinding him to the fact that he has become a corrupt and vile person, one who Margaret and her daughter eventually are forced to walk out on.
In her time away from her husband, Margaret acquires a sense of certainty and confidence that she had never truly had before. She eventually takes her word to the national radio where she confesses that it was, in fact, her who created every single piece of Keane artwork and her husband actually has no idea how to paint at all. The artist’s case in inevitably taken to court where she battles it out for the rights to her paintings against her husband. Even the immense amount of charm Walter displays in the courtroom is not enough to win the case as Margaret truly displays her talent by painting in front of the jury to prove her worth.
It is quite a breath of fresh air to see Burton buckle down on a deeper sense of realism and focus solely on the story as opposed to a few of his spectacle-focused efforts that proved to perform unsuccessfully. Big Eyes provides a surprising sense of nostalgia as one feels a flair of Edward Scissorhands in some of the movie’s art direction. The sixties time period, particular the wardrobe is partly a reason for this as Scissorhands had that vibrant color scheme and sense of suburban comfort. Anyone who enjoys any of Burton’s early work is sure to admire all he has to offer with Big Eyes.
As Big Eyes very well may be the creative resurrection of Tim Burton, one must be curious as to how the world will continue to receive the film. There is much awards buzz surrounding the movie, with Adams already acquiring a Golden Globe nomination and one must wonder how the film will fair at the Oscars. Perhaps this title will enter the vault of all of Burton’s beloved classics. Big Eyes is now playing in theaters.
Opinion by Cody Collier
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GLV – Cody Collier