Movie: Big Eyes
My Rating: 3 stars
Well, this was a fun, little film. I guess almost all of Amy Adams’ roles are cute and fun—even when she’s trying to be a little edgy. And, in this movie, she plays the adorable Margaret Keane, the real “mastermind” behind all those creepy portraits of sad, hobo children that were so popular in the 60s. Of course, the controversy behind this story is that for the longest time, her husband Walter had been taking credit as the artist. And, this movie explores the story of the woman who would decide to allow this, and the psychology behind her decision.
Margaret Keane’s big-eyed child paintings are pretty creepy. I would actually be pretty terrified to have one of these hanging in my home—its haunting gaze following me around the room, judging my every decision. No thank you. But clearly there were a lot of people out there who felt differently. These paintings were wildly popular in the 60s, and prints of Keane’s paintings sold as fast as they could roll them off the presses. So needless to say, with all this commercial success, her husband didn’t want to jinx it all by revealing that he had been lying all that time. I think there was also a little vanity involved too. The movie suggests that Walter had always wanted to be a respected artist, but just didn’t have the talent. But Margaret had had enough of the charade. She was tired of lying to the world, and she finally wanted credit for her crying orphan paintings. And, this movie captures the drama of that disagreement. It begins as a domestic drama, and ends as a courtroom face-off. The story flows pretty well.
I think I’d recommend this movie to you. It isn’t the most exciting movie in the world. But, the story is real history, and that’s pretty interesting. You don’t have to like Margaret Keane’s art to enjoy her story. And, Amy Adams is just as adorable as ever. So, go ahead and rent it if you’re so moved.