BIG EYES

       

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, April 17, 2015

Amy Adams delivers a knockout performance in “Big Eyes” as artist Margaret Keane, famous for her portraits of children with huge eyes.

It’s a quirky story that begins in the late 1950s with Margaret Ulbrich, a divorced single mother, moving to San Francisco, where she puts her artistic ability to work on an illustrative assembly line in a furniture factory

On the side, she tries, to little avail, to earn some money with her offbeat big-eyed paintings when she meets another artist named Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), the original silver-tongued devil.

Soon, she’s essentially trapped in their home churning out her work while Walter sells the paintings and takes credit for them as his own. He’s so sleazily manipulative that he almost convinces Margaret that he is indeed the artist.

    

                          Amy Adams, 'Big Eyes'

Ultimately, this leads to courtroom showdown with an extremely satisfying resolution.

Although Adams won a Golden Globe for her performance, “Big Eyes” underperformed in theaters last Christmas and has all but been forgotten.

Directed by Tim Burton in a manner that is more subtle than his most famous films, “Big Eyes” is a comedy-drama that is quite touching and builds well to its climax.

The biggest drawback is Waltz’s overwrought performance, which looks all the more cartoony next to Adams’ grounded, realistic portrayal. But there is nice support from Danny Huston, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman and Terence Stamp in small but significant roles.

Despite Waltz, the film is quite satisfying and demonstrates a maturity that is revealed all too infrequently in Burton’s films. And now that it’s on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as being available on other platforms, this is your chance to judge “Big Eyes” for yourself.