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Big Eyes (2014)

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A drama about the awakening of painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.

Director:

Tim Burton
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2,502 ( 704)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Adams ... Margaret Keane
Christoph Waltz ... Walter Keane
Danny Huston ... Dick Nolan
Krysten Ritter ... Dee-Ann
Jason Schwartzman ... Ruben
Terence Stamp ... John Canaday
Jon Polito ... Enrico Banducci
Delaney Raye ... Young Jane
Madeleine Arthur ... Older Jane
James Saito ... Judge
Farryn VanHumbeck ... Lily
Guido Furlani ... Dino Olivetti
Elisabetta Fantone ... Olivetti Girl
Emily Maddison ... 2nd Olivetti Girl (as Emily Bruhn)
Brent Chapman Brent Chapman ... Factory Boss
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Storyline

In San Francisco in the 1950s, Margaret was a woman trying to make it on her own after leaving her husband with only her daughter and her paintings. She meets gregarious ladies' man and fellow painter Walter Keane in a park while she was struggling to make an impact with her drawings of children with big eyes. The two quickly become a pair with outgoing Walter selling their paintings and quiet Margaret holed up at home painting even more children with big eyes. But Walter's actually selling her paintings as his own. A clash of financial success and critical failure soon sends Margaret reeling in her life of lies. With Walter still living the high life, Margaret's going to have to try making it on her own again and re-claiming her name and her paintings. Written by Anne Campbell

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She created it. He sold it. And they bought it. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

25 December 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Velike oči See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,001,738, 28 December 2014

Gross USA:

$14,482,031

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,253,166
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (ACES)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kate Hudson and Thomas Haden Church were initially attached to play the lead roles. They were replaced with Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds. After a year in development, Witherspoon and Reynolds dropped out and Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz took the lead roles. See more »

Goofs

During the shot of the reporter outside the courthouse, a camera operator shoots the story. The camera is missing the drive belt, which should be connected to the magazine to run the film through the camera to be exposed. It's clearly a non-working prop. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dick Nolan: [narrating] The '50s were a grand time, if you were a man. I'm Dick Nolan. I make things up for a living - I'm a reporter.
[Margaret frantically packing things]
Dick Nolan: It's the strangest goddamn story that I ever covered. It started the day that Margaret Ulbrich walked out on her suffocating husband, long before it became the fashionable thing to do.
Margaret Keane: Come on, Janie.
[they get into the car]
See more »


Soundtracks

In My Room
Written by Brian Wilson and Gary Usher
Performed by Julian Coryell and Storm Gardner
Produced by Deron Johnson
Courtesy of The Weinstein Company
See more »

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User Reviews

"Mother, I know..."
6 April 2019 | by ReadingFilmSee all my reviews

The Warhol quote is making fun of its ghastliness and the invisible hand of the market. An odd choice to start on by mocking its own subject. As well I sense a subconscious undercurrent reflecting his own brand.

But the key to Tim Burton has always been Disney not Gothic. Here is finally a proper Gothic work in being everything but, with its colorful San Francisco and Hawaii; Waltz through structures of mental control, abuse in power, serial plagiarizing, is a Gothic monster.

There would be inheritances in stories like this.

But it's about speech as well and how if you don't say it it'll never be said, begging the tragedy how painting isn't enough. Her eyes don't just see but can't not see. They gaze the heightened details of the world. Then would be susceptible to larger than life psychologies which would entice her in love. A Gothic torture how love controls her. Then when images can't be hers, she chooses numbers. Numerology in the pop 60s make her almost a chosen one for backing the zeitgeist: late 20th century advanced statistics would forecast and streamline every single industry. Her drawings very much forecasted the medium of anime, which rivals all of world cinema. By her own devices left unchecked might've lead to some great garage start-up, Mac, PC... Keane. In all seriousness societal mechanics denying her ability to grow in art reminds me of Burton himself trapped in the machine of his brand.

Credit. Silence. Eyes. Its elements fuse a true fright. "Mother, I know..." Few will know the soul-crushing abuse of others taking credit for their work.

Usually, a woman so pretty would not be a Tim Burton outsider but the spark of her ghoulish secret drawings make her as him. Oddest. The whole film is about these demonic traumatized orphans happening in its background. A battlefield seems to be the anger as the commodification of western privilege. But against the abstract expressionist backdrop it's a valid contrary.

Most beautiful is it's this Tim Burton art film where performers are allowed to act not pose, even though it abuses green screen (its artifice you could say is Warholian at least...); much is said about the overacting, where Waltz has to strut around and make a great show of it, but he's being watched by Burton and Keane's; eyes so big warrant big visions.


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