First Hit: Captured the era in a great way and was effective in telling this story.
Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) painted the “Big Eye” paintings that captured the hearts of many. The question is would the paintings have been so well known, distributed, and sold if it weren’t for her husband?
Probably not, however Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) also took credit for painting his wife’s paintings. Walter wanted to be a painter but his skill was in selling. And because he could sell his wife’s work, he also wanted to feed his ego and take credit for painting them as well. Why Margaret agreed to this deception wasn’t explored very deeply.
Although the story was interesting, noteworthy, and gave credence to the power of owning one’s own power, what I liked about the film, were the cars, dress, and representation of the 1950’s and early 1960’s. The brightness and newness of the time after WWII was palatable. To me the defining scene about the time period was early when Margaret and daughter Jane (young Jane – Delaney Raye) escape in the green Ford and head out across the country. The roadside signs, the car and other cars on the road was representative and magical of the time.
Adams was very good as Margaret. She really embodied the time and spirit of a woman wanting to own her power in a societal time where it was felt that men ruled the roost. Waltz was delightfully deceitful, charming and snarky. I loved the courtroom scenes where he ranted, raved and showed that he struggled to paint anything. Both Raye and Madeleine Arthur were wonderful as Margaret’s child Jane. Danny Huston as the reporter Dick Nolan, from which this story is told, was very good as well. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski wrote this dialogue rich script. Tim Burton, as expected, focused on the cinematography, rather than creating interest in the characters.
Overall: Although I really liked the story, there was something missing from it to make it memorable.