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"Big Eyes": Tim Burton's Big Comeback 

Tuesday, Dec 23 2014

If the failure of Dark Shadows is what it took for Tim Burton to step away from Johnny Depp and come back down to earth, then that movie has served its purpose, for Big Eyes is Burton's best film since his 1994 masterpiece Ed Wood. Set in San Francisco's Mad Men era of the late 1950s through the mid-1960s, Big Eyes tells the story of Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), the artist behind those paintings of saucer-eyed waifs that you've probably seen without knowing quite who made them. If you thought they were by her husband, Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), it's only because he took credit for them while abusing and dominating Margaret, forcing her to keep painting in private for years while he reaped all the public acclaim. Beautifully photographed and emotionally compelling, Big Eyes is Adams' show, as she expresses great pain with her eyes while Waltz frequently gnaws at the scenery. It's no secret that Adams is a terrific actress, having been nominated for multiple Academy Awards, but no movie has used her so well since The Master, and her nomination for American Hustle felt more like a nod to her overcoming being miscast in that role. And if she doesn't get at least a nomination for Big Eyes, then the Academy's own eyes are truly closed.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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