From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Big Eyes is a 2014 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Tim Burton, and starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. The film focuses on American artist Margaret Keane (Adams), whose work was fraudulently claimed in the 1950s and 1960s by her then-husband, Walter Keane (Waltz), and their heated divorce trial after Margaret accused Walter of stealing credit for her paintings.
Artist Margaret Keane's paintings of large-eyed waifs became phenomenally successful in the 1950s, but she received no recognition for it. Her husband, Walter Keane, claiming to be the artist, became a national celebrity and talk=show fixture in the 1950s after he pioneered the mass production of inexpensive prints. Using his marketing savvy, he sold the prints cheaply in such venues as hardware stores and gas stations across the United States. Margaret generated the paintings from a locked room in their home, with Walter's contribution being his signature added to the bottom. The ruse ended their marriage, and when Margaret made it known she had created the paintings, the couple engaged in in a court battle to determine proper credit.
- Amy Adams as Margaret Keane
- Christoph Waltz as Walter Keane
- Danny Huston as Dick Nolan
- Jon Polito as Enrico Banducci
- Krysten Ritter as DeAnn
- Jason Schwartzman as Ruben
- Terence Stamp as John Canaday
- Madeleine Arthur as Older Jane Ulbrich
- Delaney Raye as Young Jane Ulbrich
Big Eyes has received positive reviews, particularly for Waltz and Adams' performances, the script and Burton's direction. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 70%, based on 141 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10. The site's consensus reads, "Well-acted, thought-provoking and a refreshing change of pace for Tim Burton, Big Eyes works both as a biopic and as a timelessly relevant piece of social commentary". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 62 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".