“Big Eyes” performances worth seeing

Big Eyes

5-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams as Margaret Keane.

Two-time Oscar nominated director Tim Burton (“Frankenweenie”, 2013) brings another eccentric storyline to the big-screen, albeit minus Johnny Depp. “Big Eyes” follows the true story of Walter and Margaret Keane, played superbly by both Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”) and Amy Adams (“American Hustle”), as newlyweds in the 1950s with a shared fondness for art. As Walter and Margaret bond over their novel paintings depicting children with extremely large eyes, their talents take each of them in opposite directions. One delves deeper into her widely successful art production while the other attempts to claim, market and manipulate those painting through lies.

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“Big Eyes” is as acting masterpiece. (Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams)

“Big Eyes” provides a compelling look back at American households and the role of women in business. It boldly tackles the topics of divorce, marital roles and participation in the workforce from the perspective of Adams’ character, Margaret. A time when a young fledging mother discovers her unique skills with a paint brush, only to find she can’t acknowledge her talents or dreams publicly. The artist Margaret Keane is held back from international fame by a combination of gender stereotypes, discrimination, and greedy self-indulgence.

While “Big Eyes” paints a realistic and interesting portrait of Margaret Keane’s personal challenges and setbacks, the movie’s acting is by far its finest quality. Amy Adams, a 5-time Oscar nominee, delivers a sensational performance in her most robust and expansive role to date. Adams flawlessly captures Margaret Keane’s transformation in self-confidence as she finds her voice to speak up and the fortitude to face her troubles.

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2-time Oscar winner Waltz as Walter Keane.

As exceptional as Adams’ work is in “Big Eyes”, it isn’t the only exhilarating performance. Two-time Academy Award winner Waltz oozes flamboyance and narcissism as Walter Keane—keeping viewers mercilessly glued to the film. He does a superb job selling himself, promoting the paintings, and marketing “Big Eyes”.

“Big Eyes” is an interesting true tale; however, its true masterpiece is found in the film’s exceptional acting. Adams’ incredible portrayal of Margaret gives vindication to those manipulated by others. Likewise, the wildly powerful performance by Christoph Waltz showcases the two competing sides of Walter Keane—a marketing genius and a controlling con man. Poignantly, Adams and Waltz canvas “Big Eyes” with an abstract form of harsh realism from that period’s landscape using Burton’s broad, yet enlightening, brush stroke.

Grade: B

© 2015, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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