Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Movie Review: Big Eyes

I am a huge Tim Burton fan, but lately his movies have been falling flat for me. When I heard about his latest I got a little excited, because it looked and sounded more like classic Burton, and I wasn't disappointed for the most part.

Big Eyes is a live-action drama inspired by a true story but with a generous amount of creative licensing about a wife who paints and her husband who took credit for it. It is rated PG-13 for language and adult themes. It is suitable for teenagers and up.

The Good

Cinematography. Tim Burton is probably the greatest master of cinematography since Orson Wells and Fritz Lang. Every shot in this film is beautiful and still tells a story and communicates everything the viewer needs to know and feel.

Casting. Tim Burton is known for his perfect casting, and this movie is no exception. The actors and actresses cast were perfect for their roles and really made you believe they were the characters. I forgot I was watching Amy Adams at times.

Inspired. This movie was inspired by real events, which means it resembled the truth only superficially so it could tell a really good story by inventing characters and events that never happened but make for a better story. The overall message and story was preserved.

Plot. This movie had a really good pace. It was never rushed yet never felt like it dragged. Everything was developed enough for the audience to buy it and then the movie moved on. Props to whomever edited this film.

The Bad

Lack of Tim Burton touches. I almost couldn't tell this was a Tim Burton film with how straight forward everything was and how little stylization there was in everything from the sets to the costumes.

Mood. This movie is very heavy and sad until the last five minutes. It begins with a woman leaving her first husband and ends with her leaving her second husband. While the story it told was a sad story for so much of the time, it was almost too depressing. The audience needs an occasional break to regroup and prepare for the next set of trials.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I would have appreciated a few more light-hearted touches to balance out all the heavy and depressing struggles the protagonist goes thru. And I missed the beautiful title sequences that begin and establish the mood of almost every Tim Burton film. This one had a simple pan of a painting. He could have done so much more such as showing the painting being painted step by step.


Overall, Big Eyes was a really good movie. It told a solid story, had a tight plot that moved at the right pace, but was kind of depressing until the last 5 minutes. You'd never guess it was a Tim Burton film -- it lacked his usual signature touches aside from the great casting and beautiful cinematography. But I still recommend it and give it a solid 4 out of 5 boxes of popcorn.

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