A drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.
Based on the real life events of Margaret Keane (portrayed in the film by Adams) ‘Big Eyes’ is told from the perspective of reporter Dick Nolan (Huston) and follows Margaret throughout the course of her most important years as she bravely leaves her husband (something not often done in those times) and moves to a new area with her daughter in the hopes of realizing her dreams of becoming a true artist. Upon her arrival she meets a fellow painter named Walter Keane (Waltz) whom she quickly marries and begins building her career with, initially unaware that Walter is in fact taking credit for her work while she remains home creating it. Before long she discovers what is really occurring and due to the threat of her own legal issues for initially going along, she reluctantly agrees to play along with her husband’s scheme, even going so far as to hide it from her daughter. Soon they are making more money than they ever dreamed of, but Margaret remains unhappy with the lies and will eventually be forced to decide which is more important, the truth or this lavish lifestyle she is living.
The incredibly talented Tim Burton directed ‘Big Eyes’ and he does a phenomenal job at the helm here, bringing his own unique touch while perfectly capturing the experiences and doing so in such a uniquely beautiful way as only he can. Burton’s guidance is only benefited immensely by the collection of talented individuals who comprise the cast, including Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston, Jason Schwartzman, Krysten Ritter, Terence Stamp and a number of others, all of whom deliver impressive performances in each of their respective roles, although Waltz and Adams are a step above the rest with their outstanding portrayals of Margaret and Walter Keane.
‘Big Eyes’ is an exceptional film, a wonderfully crafted biography/drama that is both emotionally moving and notably beautiful, overflowing with rich and bright colors that so perfectly compliment the subject of painting in which the film largely focuses. Burton does an impressive job of really capturing the characters and making you feel for them in so many ways, while also handling the time jumps with a smooth perfection and grace that never feels jumpy or out of place. Overall, ‘Big Eyes’ is definitely well worth checking out, it’s easily up there with some of Burton’s best films and I would highly recommend it.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Big Eyes’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks truly fantastic here, the rich and brightly exaggerated colors always present in the film look marvelous, while everything else from the character activity to the movement and background detail holds up in nearly every regard, never suffering from any notable faults that might be overwhelming or distracting; delivering a sharp, detailed and impressive high definition video presentation throughout.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless soundtrack sounds pretty wonderful as a whole and more than capably holds up to the tasks it’s provided, taking advantage of the surround channels to immerse the viewer with Danny Elfman’s beautiful score while also utilizing them for such logical things as crowd activity and other fitting auditory elements, while always making certain that any dialogue which might be occurring simultaneously is more than audible and never negatively affected in any way.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Big Eyes’ doesn’t feature a great deal of bonus content although it does include a couple of solid extras. Included on the release is a Featurette titled ‘The Making of Big Eyes’ which runs just shy of 22 minutes in length and explores what was required to bring this true story to the screen, including interviews and comments with Director Tim Burton, Actress Amy Adams, the real life Margaret Keane and many more. Also included are ‘Q & A Highlights’ which run approximately 33 minutes in total and provide some additional input into the movie by those involved.
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Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Own ‘Big Eyes’ today on Blu-Ray and DVD from The Weinstein Company & Anchor Bay Entertainment