Kurt Loder Reviews Big Eyes


Big Eyes
Big Eyes / Youtube

In the 1960s, Walter Keane was one of the world's most famous—and possibly most derided—painters. His pictures of sad little children with big saucer-size eyes might have exemplified "heroic bad taste," as one New York museum curator put it, but museums in Spain and Belgium hung them proudly, and stars like Joan Crawford, Kim Novak and Natalie Wood collected them.

But Keane's self-trumpeting success ("My brush is continually discovering new things," he said) was his undoing. In 1970, his fed-up ex-wife Margaret announced that it was actually she who had painted all those big-eyed waifs, not Walter.

This is a great story, and Tim Burton has now turned it into a breezy and rather slight movie, with Amy Adams playing Margaret Keane and Christoph Waltz in the role of Walter. It's an unusual Burton film.