Big Eyes 2014 ***

Tim Burton eschews his patented brand of darkness to evoke the spirit of Blake Edwards in Big Eyes, a deceptively frothy drama based on Margaret Keane, a single mother whose ability to create memorably kitsch art led to her talents being exploited by her ruthlessly ambitious husband Walter (Christophe Waltz). Burton pitches the film nicely on Mrs Keane awareness of her husband’s inner darkness, which only occasionally involves physical threat, and is driven more by naivety and misguided trust. A funny final scene, in which egocentric Walter Keane cross-examines himself in court, reveals that Big Eyes is a gently sour comedy, but one which tells a potent and felicitous tale of female empowerment. Jason Schwartzman’s briefly-glimpsed but memorably stuck-up gallery attendant deserves a film of his own.


Leave a Reply