Big Eyes

Rated 3.0

The story of the “Big Eyes” paintings, attributed to Walter Keane but actually painted by his wife, Margaret, sounds like a good subject for a Tim Burton movie. Strange, then, that the famed director’s new film about the Keanes turns out to be such a bland affair, with so little of the weirdness and charm associated with his previous work (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, etc.). The production’s visual design makes for an elaborate and very nicely furnished caricature of mid-20th century kitsch and its pastel excesses. Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are well-cast in the lead roles, but neither character has a chance to develop much beyond what is more or less obvious from the outset. Waltz’s farcically grotesque antics as Walter make an amusing impression, but that proves somewhat counterproductive in a film trying to center its sympathies with Margaret. Adams finesses her role with touching skill, but there’s no getting around the character’s sad limitations. Pageant Theatre. Rated PG-13