Movie Review of BIG EYES

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Big Eyes Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Tim Burton, Amy Adams Movie HD

Kaitlin Goodey wrote the following:

Friday Feature – Margaret Keane

Margaret Keane

Today I thought I would share an artist that has a direct effect on my art work!  This wonderful painter has been an inspiration to me far before I actually new who she was!  From a young age I’ve loved thrift stores, garage sales, and antique stores.  You can find many prints or similar style paintings like Margaret Keane’s in those locations.  So I was exposed young to the beauty of big eyes.  Those big eyes have always pulled me in and tugged on my heart strings.  It’s as if the eyes speak to me.  Honestly I feel like a nut saying that, but the eye connection is so strong in some paintings its as close to a conversation as a painting can get for me! Margaret Keane Painting

So when I started sculpting my art dolls and my process started leading me in this big eye, unrealistic style, I decided to just go with it.  I really did try to sculpt realistic faces a few times but it usually just made them look even more alien like!  So I stopped fighting what I thought I had to make and embraced what was naturally happening!  That’s when I started researching other artists who use big eyes and really learnt about Keane’s history.

Margaret Keane Painting

I found it very interesting to know that her husband actually tried claiming he did the paintings!  I mean seriously what a poop!  So of course when they were getting a divorce in the best way ever she proved the paintings were really hers!  She painted out in the open right infront of the judge and everyone to show the work was really hers.  So when the husband was asked to do the same “I can’t I have a sore shoulder”.  Needless to say, she won the case and has continued to do HER work!

Margaret Keane Painting

As all artist progress and change through their life and career, Keane’s work has experienced shifts of change.  In her early career her characters or style were known as “Big Eyes”, “Sad eyes”, “Waifs” or simply known as “Keane”.  Many times a tear graced the characters cheek.  However, after the divorce Keane moved to Hawaii and while stylistically the same her paintings became brighter and a bit happier.  Then again later in life after joining a church her paintings became even a bit happier.  So when a tear graced a face, at that point it was of joy not sadness.

Margaret Keane Painting

Her work was highly criticised in the art world and yet they were some of the best selling art in the Western world in the early 60’s!  You may or may not like them yourselves, but there is no denying Keane’s influence on American pop culture!  A funny fact for me is that Tim Burton is a long time fan and collector of Keane’s work.  Going so far as to commission an art piece, and now working on a movie about her career and court battle with her ex-husband!  Although that movie has been talked about for a while, I’m still waiting patiently for something to actually happen with that!  I find it funny because I get so many people coming into the gallery saying “this is very Tim Burton like” or referencing him somehow.  Which I really don’t mind because I love his work, but in reality I didn’t even consiously think about his work when making mine!  I looked at a lot of Keane, Mark Ryden, and Katie Olivias for stylistic inspiration and a myriad of other art doll makers for technical know how.  So now seeing that our inspirations crossed paths is a funny little tidbit for me.

Margaret Keane Painting

Keane is now located in San Francisco where you can visit Keane Eyes Gallery and see her work first hand.  It is by appointment though so don’t be a dummy like me and think you can walk there and go right in.  Or you’ll end up peering through the windows like me!  Have you seen her work or similar work before?  Or have you seen how it has influenced pop culture at all?

DP/30: Big Eyes, Amy Adams

Margaret Keane, Painter Behind Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes’ | KQED Arts

Big Eyes (2014) Q&A with Amy Adams, Margaret Keane & The Writers

Behind the scenes of the real life “Big Eyes”

 Movie Review

BIG EYES

Truth Conquers Deceit in Biopic of Quirky Painter

Content -1
Quality

None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: December 25, 2014

Starring: Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams,
Krysten Ritter, Jason
Schwartzman, Danny Huston,
Terence Stamp, Stephanie
Bennet, Emily Fonda,
Elisabetta Fantone, Madeleine
Arthur, Jon Polito

Genre: Drama/Biopic

Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 105 minutes

Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Director: Tim Burton

Executive Producer: Katterli Frauenfelder, Derek
Frey, Jamie Patricof, Bob
Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein

Producer: Scott Alexander, Tim Burton,
Lynette Howell, Larry
Karaszewski,

Writer: Larry Karaszewski, Scott
Alexander

Address Comments To:

Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairmen, The Weinstein Company (RADiUS-TWC/Dimension Films)
345 Hudson Street, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (646) 862-3400; Fax: (917) 368-7000
Website: http://www.weinsteinco.com

Content:

(Pa, B, PC, Fe, C, FR, LL, V, S, N, A, D, M) Light mixed pagan worldview with some moral statements against lying, manipulation and deceit, but also some subtle politically correct, feminist elements, but female protagonist does respect the Bible (even though she becomes a Jehovah’s Witness) and at one point says, “Only God could create theses colors”; seven obscenities and eight profanities (including abusing Jesus’s name), plus an obscene gesture; light violence includes husband threatens his wife and even tries to start a fire in a room she’s in, a man is punched; no sexual content, but married couple kiss and married man flirts with other women; no nudity but some female cleavage and women in swimsuits; moderate wine drinking; no drug use, but some smoking; and, lots of lying, manipulation, deceit and illegal fraud, but this is not condoned and is eventually made right.


Summary:

BIG EYES is a biopic about Margaret Keane, whose paintings became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1950’s but her husband took all the credit for them. BIG EYES is an entertaining movie with terrific performances, but it has some mixed messages (both positive and negative) and some foul language requiring caution.


Review:

BIG EYES is a biopic directed by Tim Burton about Margaret Keane and her famous paintings that became a phenomenon in the 1950s and 60s.

The movie begins with Margaret (Amy Adams) leaving her abusive husband Frank and escaping to San Francisco with their daughter. Making a living from doing street portraits, Margaret meets the suave Walter Keane, a fellow painter who compliments her artwork. When Frank threatens to take custody of their daughter because Margaret isn’t a good provider, Walter proposes to Margaret they get married, and he’ll take care of them. Even though she hardly knows Walter, she agrees and the two get married.

One day while trying sell some of his own artwork at a club, someone takes an interest in his wife’s work, a painting of a little girl with abnormally large eyes. In order to make the sale, Walter takes credit for the work. After some strategic press, the paintings start selling off the wall.

When Margaret finds out Walter has been taking all the credit for her paintings, she’s upset, but too soft spoken to do anything about it. Walter says they’re married, so who gets the credit doesn’t really matter, and the money is good.

The big eye’d paintings become a major hit, and Walter smartly starts selling print outs of the unique pictures. Margaret continues to secretly paint while Walter takes all the credit and pulls in a fortune. The longer they do this, the guiltier Margaret becomes for all their lies. Eventually, Walter becomes increasingly threatening, and Margaret is forced to leave him. Years later, she decides to step up and take credit for all her work. Walter and Margaret take the issue to court, where there are a couple very funny scenes.

BIG EYES is a very interesting movie from Tim Burton. It’s also one of the least strange movies he’s done. One can’t help but be empathetic for Amy Adams as Margaret. Amy gives a subtle, yet very effective performance as a conflicted woman. The extremely talented Christoph Waltz also excels in his role as the cunningly smart and eventually despicable Walter. BIG EYES doesn’t stand out like Margaret’s paintings do, but it’s an entertaining movie nonetheless.

BIG EYES has some mixed messages. One can’t help but hope Margaret will find the courage to reveal the truth of her situation. Thus, the movie shows lying, manipulation and deceit in a negative light. That being said, the movie has a subtle politically correct, feminist tone. While Margaret is indeed treated unfairly and unjustly, some parts of the movie seem unlikely and anachronistic. For example, when Margaret’s conscience tells her that lying is wrong, she asks a priest for advice, and he tells her to just “submit to her husband,” without asking her any more questions. For a priest to tell her to disobey God over her husband is both unbiblical and unrealistic in the way it’s portrayed. Eventually, Margaret becomes a Jehovah’s Witness, which gives her a newfound sense of what’s morally right and wrong. It also gives her the confidence to stand up to Walter. BIG EYES also contains some strong foul language, however. So, caution is advised.


In Brief:

BIG EYES is a biopic directed by Tim Burton about Margaret Keane and her famous paintings that became a phenomenon in the 1950’s. The movie begins with Margaret leaving her abusive husband, Frank, and escaping to San Francisco with their daughter. Making a living doing street portraits, Margaret meets the suave Walter Keane, a painter who compliments her artwork. The two get married. Someone shows interest in Margaret’s unique paintings of children with abnormally large eyes. Walter claims to be the one who painted it so he can make the sale. The paintings become a sensational hit, and Walter’s lies get bigger and bigger.

BIG EYES is a very interesting movie from Tim Burton. It’s also one of the least strange, most entertaining movies he’s done. One can’t help but be empathetic for Amy Adams as Margaret. She delivers a subtle, yet effective performance as a conflicted woman. Sadly, there are some mixed messages in BIG EYES. It has a spiritual dimension that extols honesty and rebukes lying and manipulation, but there’s also a feminist, politically correct tone. So, caution is advised.

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