The latest Tim Burton movie is finally out on DVD. This time retelling the incredible story of Walter (Christoph Waltz) and Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), he takes us back in the 1960’s and we are delighted to follow him. This is a tale of love, a love for painting felt by a real artist at heart but also of abuse, and deception.
Less macabre than his previous films, Big Eyes is about Margaret Keane, a woman whose loneliness led her to paint a portrait of her daughter. In 1958, she leaves her husband and starts working for a furniture company during the week. At this stage, painting is a part of her. She tries to sell her art on the weekends and meets Walter Keane while he is also trying to sell his Parisian street scene paintings. Amazing talker and gregarious ladies’ man, he bewitches her and they quickly marry. At first it is a partnership made in heaven, the quiet Margaret paints at home while Walter goes out in clubs to sell her paintings. However, we soon realize that he is taking credit for her work.
“She created it. He sold it. And they bought it.”
As I said before, this is a totally different genre for Tim Burton but we can understand why he chose this story to tell. Not so long ago, men had power over women. Husbands were masters of houses even in the art world. The amazing paintings made by Margaret would probably not have sold so well under her name. This movie has a lot to say. It is not simply a romantic drama. Using her work, Walter became one the most famous painter of the 1960’s. Acclaimed by the public, he revolutionized art by commercializing it so it would be accessible to all. His enigmatic children with big eyes became incredibly popular despite the art critics thinking it was an ugly joke. But it was all a big deception.
As years passed, Margaret could live with herself less and less and finally told the truth. I’ll let you appreciate what happens next without spoiling it. Just know that Amy Adams is absolutely incredible in this role.