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Big Eyes

Jonathan Hinshaw - Saturday, December 27, 2014

We watched Big Eyes, starring one of our favorite actresses, Amy Adams (American Hustle, Enchanted), Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Bastards, Django Unchained), Jason Schwartzman (Moonrise Kingdom, Darjeeling Limited), Terence Stramp (The Adjustment Bureau, Wanted), Danny Huston (21 Grams, The Aviator), and Krysten Ritter (What Happens in Vegas, She's Out Of My League).  

The movie was based on the true story of Margaret Keane, a famous painter who perfected the "Big Eyes" concept on lonely children in the 50s and 60s.  She runs away from her first husband, ends up in San Francisco, hooking up with an old friend, Krysten.  She has an idea that she wants to paint for a living, starts the concept of the paintings of big eyed children.  Meets Christoph Waltz at an art show, he decides to sweep her off her feet, he is a real salesman who wants to be a painter.  His work is based on street scenes from Paris, where he lived and studied a few years ago.  

Soon they are married, he is showing paintings at a bohemian jazz club, when her paintings begin to sell.  He says they are his, seems to be a small thing.  Except her paintings are what are selling, not his.  Soon he has decided to keep her in the shadows painting, he takes credit for all the big eye works.  And credit is what he is good at.  

In a couple of years, he has made a real name for himself, giving big eyed paintings to royalty, visiting dignitaries, really got his name out there.  And they have become wealthy.  All of this is told through a voice over done by Huston, playing a New York Times columnist who specialized in the society pages.  His boss, Terence is the editor, who thinks Christoph is a hack, he does not like how he goes to market.  Christoph tried to get street cred, wants to put his paintings in a fancy gallery run by Jason Schwartzman, who turns him down immediately.  Christoph ends up with his own gallery right across the street, and it is successful.  

He gets into posters, reproducing his wife's paintings in all sorts of ways.  Soon they are in every drug store in the nation, greeting cards, glasses, the whole spectrum.  This all comes to a head when Amy's best friend Krysten visits, sees that Amy is the real artist and Christoph is a fraud.  This starts a downward spiral when Amy decides she needs to step up.  Christoph disagrees, and in fact, tries to make sure she will not step up.  

Amy and her daughter decide to run away to Hawaii, where they are visited by a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses.  Amy makes a decision to embrace the religion, they help her feel better about herself.  She decides to take Christoph to court, for fraud and slander, to establish the fact she is the real artist in the family.  Christoph, in a stupid moment, decides to represent himself, it is pretty funny.  The Judge has a creative way to determine who is the real artist, it is a great moment in the movie.  

Stay for the credits, you get to see photos of both Margaret and her husband.  She is still painting every day, he, not so much.  We will go with 3 Acrylics, we liked the movie.  No drugs, Sex, no one got killed, a refreshing change.  


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