DVD review: Big Eyes, directed by Tim Burton

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 May, 2015, 10:51pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 May, 2015, 10:51pm


Big Eyes
Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston
Director: Tim Burton

Filmmaker Tim Burton takes a detour from quirky goth films such as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Dark Shadows and stuff to take a look at the life of Margaret (Amy Adams) and Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) in a biopic set in the 1950s and '60s.

Based on a true story, Big Eyes has Margaret leaving the suburbs and her controlling husband for San Francisco, where she plans on pursuing a life as an artist. It's there she meets Walter, an aspiring painter with connections in the art world.

After a short courtship, they get married. A short time later, Margaret's work takes off, but Walter takes credit. Margaret lets him get away with it until he becomes increasingly demanding of her. This is good work from Burton, stepping away from his wheelhouse. The drama tells a remarkable story, and performances from Adams and Waltz are, as usual, solid.

Burton knows a thing or two about making popular art. Movies including Batman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland enjoyed outsized success at the box office.

Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who wrote Ed Wood, Burton's 1994 Oscar-winning Hollywood biopic, also wrote this one. Both shed new light on divisive mid-century cultural figures whose artistic contributions are considered suspect, if not plainly dreadful.

The one thing missing from Big Eyes is character development, especially in the case of Margaret. It would've been nice to understand her actions a bit more, especially in the context of the story.

Extras: making-of featurette, Q&A with cast and crew members.

Tribune News Service