Tim Burton’s odd and fun Big Eyes tells the story of Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), the painter behind the “big eyes” portraits of the 1960s, and her loser husband, Walter (Christoph Waltz), who took credit for her work.
The story begins with Margaret leaving her first husband and winding up in San Francisco, where she eventually runs into alleged artist Walter. They have a quick courtship and get married; before long, Walter is claiming her work as his own. The two eventually wind up in a legal battle, with Walter defending himself.
The movie oscillates back and forth between serious drama and outrageous comedy. The comedy angle definitely plays out in the courtroom scenes, where Waltz becomes a full-blown clown.
The look of the film has Burton’s characteristic exaggerated colors; the palette reminds at times of his Edward Scissorhands. Adams is mostly fine, but seems a bit lost at times, as if she’s not quite sure how Burton wants to tell the story. Waltz delivers a somewhat crazed performance that makes the film’s tone a bit uneven at times. However, the movie remains enjoyable.
Big Eyes is now playing at the Regal Rancho Mirage Stadium 16 (72777 Dinah Shore Drive, Rancho Mirage; 844-462-7342) and the Cinémas Palme d’Or (72840 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-779-0430).