But there is more to the movie than meets the eyes, so to speak.
Burton takes the true story and spins it into a tale of money, greed, fame and ultimately an expose on how women were treated before the civil rights and feminist movements of the ’60s and ’70s.
In that regard, it’s an eye opening account (can’t get away from the puns) and Burton plays the film pretty straight, stripped of the eccentricities that mark his earlier work.
The material is quirky enough.
Amy Adams is totally convincing as Margaret Keane, a destitute single mom who obsessively paints caricatures of children with enormous, sad eyes.
She meets and marries Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), a “blessing,” she says, for a single mom living in the ’50s when divorcees were shunned.
Walter is a marketing genius, but he’s no artist.
Yet, he insists on taking credit for creating the paintings, which boom into a huge business. Margaret is forced to paint anonymously, while Keane simply adds his signature and takes all the credit.
“Sadly, people don’t buy lady art,” he tells his wife at a gallery showing. “The paintings say ‘Keane;’ I’m Keane, you’re Keane.”
But the ruse could only go on for so long. Their relationship eventually soured.
Margaret filed for divorce and demanded credit for her work. The divorce trial was one of the most sensational of the decade.
No need to spoil the outcome here. Check out the trailer below, let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest spin on new movies.
“Big Eyes” will be released Christmas day.