Perhaps stung by the negative reception to his big-budget blowout take on the old campy gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, Tim Burton went smaller for his latest film, a more modest and quirky true story about an artist who never quite got her due.
Big Eyes opens on Christmas Day. My review is at PopMatters:
There was a time in the early ‘60s when Walter Keane was making more money than any other living artist in the Western world. He was a master of sales, making himself the subject of fawning interviews and Life magazine spreads, sidling up to celebrities for photo ops whenever he could. Originals and, especially, reproductions of his “big eye” paintings were snatched up an adoring public, who didn’t care one bit about the critics who called his work sentimental garbage. His success led to admiration and dissent: Woody Allen’s Sleeperposits a future where the paintings, like Xavier Cugat’s music, are viewed as masterpieces.
As much as that joke is premised on the paintings’ kitsch, it also has to do with their eventually revealed truth, which is that Walter never painted them…
Here’s the trailer: