BIG EYES – Rated PG-13

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Director Tim Burton steps out of his usual dark tale telling to bring to life the real-life story of Artist Margaret Keane with his new film – BIG EYES.

As we embark upon the life of artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), we find that her work is centered on her beautiful young daughter, as Margaret portrays in each of her subjects the beautiful BIG EYES that her daughter possesses.

Newly divorced and living as a single mother in the 50’s – which was almost unheard of in those days – Margaret meets fellow artist Walter Keane (Christoph Walz) – who is mesmerized by both her talent and her beauty. Walter manages to whisk Margaret off her feet, as they marry shortly after their romance begins. Walter also sees much promise in Margaret’s work too, but chooses to make his own mark on the world as the artist of these paintings – NOT MARGARET – convincing her that the world will be more accepting of the work, if a MAN has produced it.

Living this charade for years, Margaret finds herself living a lie in both her professional and personal life, with a man whose only goal is to turn her talents into his own fame and fortune.

Bound and determined to prove to the world that all of these “Masterpieces” are truly hers and not Walter’s, Margaret sues to gain credit for her life’s work, and to get her life back on track, away from the imposter and womanizer she has been married to for far too long…

I give BIG EYES a B- – I enjoyed living out the real-life story of Margaret Keane, as Amy Adams is fantastic in this role, and is definitely worthy of her Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Nod from the Golden Globes. I also enjoyed seeing Walz play the smooth-operating, yet vindictive and mean Keane, which has landed him a nod for this role by the Hollywood Foreign Press too (It looks like his villainous roles are taking him places, I just hope that we get to see him as a good-guy someday, even though I think his role in the next James Bond film – SPECTRE – he’s playing a villain yet again.)

You will be touched by how this film transports you back into the 50’s and 60’s, which is superbly done as well, and into the life of one of the first feminists I suppose, as she chooses to become a single mother and make her way on her own, not once, but twice. I was also expecting more of Burton’s trademark darkness from his previous films to show up in this one too – since he was chosen to direct – but surprisingly it doesn’t creep into but a couple of frames of the film, which translates to a much more believable real-life storyline for me. Living out the life of artist Margaret Keane on the big screen for me was enjoyable, yet sometimes very sad, and everything in between.

Kathy Kaiser