Big Eyes

Last night for the twenty-sixth year in a row I went to see a movie on Christmas day and for the second year in a row it was a film starring Amy Adams. Last year it was “American Hustle” and this year it was “Big Eyes”.

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The film is the true store a woman (Adams) who is a painter who has recently left her husband. She meets a charming man and a fellow painter (Christoph Waltz) and marries him. When her paintings begin to sell her claims credit for them and together they built a pop art empire. But how long can somebody keep a lie like that going? How long can you keep painting and not be given credit? How long can you keep claiming credit for something that doesn’t belong to you? Those are the questions posed by the film.

Not for one minute of “Big Eyes” was I bored. Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are both such talented performers that they draw you right in. However, the fact that I wasn’t bored doesn’t make the movie great. The film is directed by Tim Burton who has given us so many fantastically strange films over the years but save for a few times when Adam’s character see the “Big Eyes” she’s painted thousands of times on real people the movie does not have any of Burton’s normal flair.

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It’s lacking passion.

I love a good story about a woman finding her voice and becoming empowered. I want Adams, as Margaret Keane, to take charge of her life and get credit for her work. The problem is the lack of passion on Burton’s part seeps into the movie a whole. I feel like I’ve seen it before and as good as Amy Adams is here I feel like I’ve seen her play meek before. I want Amy Adams to win an Oscar someday but I don’t think this performance is even going to be enough to get her a 6th nomination let alone compete with Julianne Moore in “Still Alice” for the win.

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Christoph Waltz is good but I’ve seen him play devious before.

The movie isn’t bad by any means. It’s entertaining from start the finish. The problem is that the three principle players Burton, Adams and Waltz have all been better before. Check it out in the theatre if you love these three (I also love Krysten Ritter but she’s barely in the movie) but otherwise wait for DVD.

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