Big Eyes

Rated 4.0

Director Tim Burton and writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski tell the story of artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) and her husband Walter (Christoph Waltz), who made a fortune in the 1950s and '60s marketing her paintings of wispy, huge-eyed waifs while claiming to have painted them himself. The look is brighter than the usual Burton film—all breezy California sunshine and vivid retro fashions—but the underpinnings are as dark as ever, fraught with subtle psychological abuse and manipulation, encapsulated in Waltz's unctuous smile that never quite spreads as far as his shifty, empty eyes. His Walter is the epitome of the oily small-time con man who hits it big, while Adams' Margaret is a sweet spirit at first confused by Walter's dishonesty, finally finding the strength to assert herself.