Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Big Eyes Is Tim Burton's Best Since Big Fish

Funny that Tim Burton should make two Big movies a little over ten years apart, and that they should so easily outrank the rest of his films within that ten year period.
Big Eyes is yet another true story... this film season is packed full of em. But this one is particularly interesting. It's not a war film. Not a civil rights film... well not directly. This is the story of Margaret and Walter Keane (Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz) the famous "artists". Quotes apply because only one of them is actually an artist. However, the story of how that realization comes to be is so gosh darn interesting. And it's an excellent discussion piece... because even though this incident is perhaps a product of its time, there's nothing to say it couldn't happen again today. It's not exactly a women's rights issue, though one particular scene in a church brings that subject and even more so the subject of public perception of sexism as classism into question.
No, Tim Burton's latest flick is mostly a bizarrely true period piece. This movie is very much about the late 1950s through the 1960s and the way people behaved and accepted without proof. There's a naivety to peoples' perceptions that is mind boggling in todays standards, but somehow could make even more sense in todays world... now that we can practically invent new identities at a whim online. People's identities can be stolen... property taken. But never in such a personal manner. Never with such bluntness. And never quite so in your face as Walter was able to do to Margaret.
I will go see Amy Adams in anything. She's been doing incredible work since Drop Dead Gorgeous, and she powerhouses this movie. Of course, Christoph Waltz is an excellent companion. Every performance he's ever given has garnered some form of praise... and he brings to this film a level of honesty that should be absurd given how full of lies his character is. But that's what's so blatantly fun about this performance. I also enjoyed Krysten Ritter, though her character was mostly one note. She just fit the time period so concisely.
At times I have just wanted Tim Burton to stop making films. But if he puts out something as semi-charming as this every few years... and we don't have to wait ten agonizing years between all the while watching bad adaptations of previously loved properties... well I wouldn't go yelling that Tim Burton is back or anything, but Big Eyes is a wonderful first step to me perhaps getting back on the Burton train in the near future. Yet, given the two films he's apparently planning on making in the near future, those hopes may never come to fruition. Oh well. At least I had a good time with this one movie.

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