Movie Breakdown: Big Eyes

December 22, 2014


People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Tim Burton ditches Johnny Depp (finally) and goes “normal” in order to tell the story of artist Margaret Keane and her doozy of a husband, Walter.

The Reality:

While I really appreciate that Big Eyes is Tim Burton’s first film in a long while that doesn’t scream TIM BURTON, that’s not enough to keep me from scoring it as just another average effort from the famed director.  Burton certainly picked a great story to adapt, as what transpired between Margaret and Walter Keane is wildly interesting, but his telling of it is done in such an uneven and fairly bland fashion that I probably would have been just as satisfied reading the couple’s Wikipedia page.  Even Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams, who overall turn in good performances, often have moments where they seem aware that what they’re doing is just filler until the next “important” scene comes along.  For a film with such a great story to explore, I looked at my watch far too often.

At the end of the day, Big Eyes is far from bad, but it’s lacking the right mix of details to make it something worth calling great.  If you see the film, matinee it.

The Lesson:

Come on, Timbo!  I know you still got a great film in you somewhere.


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