Review: Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Isn't a Return to 'Ed Wood' Glory -- It's Just Basic

November 14, 2014 7:02 PM

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Tim Burton's name conveys memories of gothic vistas and moody outsiders. "Big Eyes," Burton's lightweight period drama about under-appreciated painter Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) and her domineering husband Walter (Christoph Waltz) who took credit for the work, exists firmly outside of that paradigm. While it's technically exciting to see Burton return to the realm of intimate character studies for the first time since 1994's "Ed Wood," the 20 year wait doesn't justify the hype. A well-intentioned and resolutely minor period drama, "Big Eyes" isn't exactly a catastrophe, but its bland depiction of a fascinating story perhaps better served by the documentary treatment shows no evidence of the visionary creator behind the camera.

The script (by Scott Alexander and Larry Karazewski), contains an affecting core rooted in the tragedy of Margaret's plight, even though it never manages to energize the scenario. Opening in the late 1950's with a voiceover by Dick Nolan (Danny Huston), the reporter who covered the Keanes before and...

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