Big Eyes is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton and starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. The film was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski and produced by Tim Burton and Tim Burton Productions.
It is the story of Margaret Keane, an American artist, and her second husband, Walter Keane, who took credit for Margaret’s extremely popular paintings of people with wide eyes that were popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Margaret Keane is a fictional character in the film.
The film made its world premiere in New York City on December 15, 2014, and it was distributed in the United States on December 25, 2014, thanks to the efforts of The Weinstein Company. Generally excellent reviews were given to the film, with particular appreciation being given to Adams and Waltz’s performances.
Adams was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for her performance in the film. Lana Del Rey was nominated for a Golden Globe for her song “Big Eyes,” which was featured in the film, while Waltz was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the film.
After divorcing her husband, Margaret Ulbrich and her young daughter Jane relocate to the North Beach neighbourhood of San Francisco, where she works as an illustrator for a furniture manufacturing company. While participating in an outdoor art show, she meets Walter Keane, who sells paintings of Parisian street scenes but makes his money in real estate. While working on portraits for the show, she meets Walter Keane. Soon later, he proposes to her, and the pair is married in Hawaii, where they honeymoon.
When Walter is unable to get his or Margaret’s paintings accepted into a fine art gallery, he persuades Enrico Banducci, the owner of a prominent jazz club, to rent him wall space where they can exhibit their work. However, Walter is disappointed to discover that the space he has been assigned is in the back by the bathrooms.
He fights Banducci and manages to drive the man’s head through one of Margaret’s paintings, which makes the front page of a local newspaper and draws a large crowd to the club to witness the performance art piece. Inquiring about Walter’s work, well-known gossip journalist Dick Nolan instead requests to see some of his wife Margaret’s paintings, which Walter happily accepts.
Afterwards, he tells Margaret how much money he has made from selling her work and suggests that they create a partnership, with her sitting at home painting while he takes credit for her work and manages publicity and sales.
Amy Adams is the actress that portrays Margaret Keane.
Christoph Waltz is the actor that portrays Walter Keane.
Danny Huston is the actor that portrays Dick Nolan.
Krysten Ritter is the actress that portrays Dee-Ann.
Ruben is portrayed by Jason Schwartzman in the film.
Terence Stamp portrays the character of John Canaday.
Jon Polito is the actor that portrays Enrico Banducci.
Delaney Raye portrays a young Jane Older in this film. Madeleine Arthur is the actress that portrays Jane.
James Saito serves as a judge.
Dylan Kingwell portrays a young boy during an art exhibition (in the park)
The writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who penned Big Eyes as a spec movie, were able to get the rights to Margaret Keane’s life story. According to a press release from October 2007, filming was set to begin, with Alexander and Karaszewski directing their script and nightclub entrepreneur Andrew Meieran funding the full budget of less than $20 million through his Bureau of Moving Pictures brand. Filming was originally scheduled to begin in June 2008 with Kate Hudson and Thomas Haden Church in the lead roles, however the schedule was pushed back due to a new Screen Actors Guild contract.
According to a press statement issued in September 2010, Tim Burton has joined the production as a producer on the film.
The film was scheduled to begin principal photography in April 2012, and Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds were cast as the lead actors. The Weinstein Company produced Big Eyes in 2013, which was directed by Burton and starred Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. Burton took over as director in 2013. The first day of filming was in July of 2013.
In fact, Maleficent was being edited by someone other than Chris Lebenzon at the time, who was also working on Burton’s previous film, Edward Scissorhands.
The Receipts From the Box Office at the Reception Desk.
Despite only grossing $3 million in its first weekend, the film went on to gross $14.5 million in North America and $14.8 million overseas, for a worldwide total of $29.3 million.
Acclaim From the Critics
Big Eyes currently has a 72 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 6.7/10 based on 190 reviews; the consensus on the site reads: “Well-acted, thought-provoking, and a refreshing change of pace for Tim Burton, Big Eyes works both as a biopic and as a timelessly relevant piece of social commentary. With a Metacritic score of 62 out of 100, based on 40 reviews, the film is considered to have received “generally good reviews.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Steven Rea gave the picture three and a half stars out of four stars, praising Adams’ and Waltz’s performances as well as the film’s themes. The film received positive reviews from critics.
However, despite the fact that Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers criticised the picture for having an uneven tone and pace, Travers acknowledged that it was a “heartfelt monument to the passion that propels even the most ostracised artist to self-expression regardless of what the hell anyone thinks.”