I just finished watching Big Eyes, and I got to say it was one of the best movies I’ve recently seen. First of all, let’s establish that Amy Adams is an incredible actor (she won the Golden Globe for this role), and how she hasn’t won an Oscar yet is beyond me, but she’s fantastic in this film. Her performance is so powerful and moving.
She plays Margaret Keane, the woman who painted the “big eye” paintings and whose husband, Walter (played by Christoph Waltz), took credit for them. For the majority of the movie you see this woman painting these pictures of children with big eyes day after day so her husband can gain fame and fortune, and see her get frustrated and upset that he so blatantly lies.
She was rather forced into this situation, being threatened by her husband if she didn’t produce the paintings for him or if she told anyone the truth. She was even forced to lie to her daughter. Eventually, though (spoiler alert), she stands up and tells the world she was the creator of the paintings and sues him, and wins when the judge requires both Walter and Margaret to create a painting in an hour. Margaret does so with ease while Walter fakes a shoulder injury. I thought the film was so great to see a woman go through such a struggle and come out stronger and the winner. It also had some great parts that made me a laugh…it was mostly how Amy Adams said her lines to Waltz that made it humorous.
The thing I perhaps enjoyed the most was how well done the music was. Lana Del Rey wrote and performed songs for the soundtrack, including the theme “Big Eyes,” which was nominated for a Golden Globe. This song so eloquently retails the story of Keane, it’s amazing. The lyric “To my surprise, my loves demise, was his own greed and lullaby,” is sung during the film at the most perfect time and literally emphasizes the plot: her love fell apart because of her husband’s greed. I think the song is so beautiful and ethereal and it matches the movie so well, especially the line “It’s amazing what women in love will do.”
If you’re on the fence about seeing Big Eyes, I would highly recommend it. It has a great ending, you feel uplifted and happy, and it even features a cameo of Margaret Keane herself.