Check out our review of this true life drama about the awakening of the 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.
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Anchor Bay - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 105 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston, Jon Polito, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, Terence Stamp
Directed by: Tim Burton
Music by: Danny Elfman
Written by: Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 14, 2015
"She created it. He sold it. And everyone bought it."
Big Eyes is based on the true story of Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), who was one of the most successful painters of the 1950s and early 1960s. The artist earned staggering notoriety by revolutionizing the commercialization and accessibility of popular art with his enigmatic paintings of waifs with big eyes. The truth would eventually be discovered though: Keane's art was actually not created by him at all, but by his wife, Margaret (Amy Adams). The Keanes, it seemed, had been living a lie that had grown to gigantic proportions. BIG EYES centers on Margaret's awakening as an artist, the phenomenal success of her paintings, and her tumultuous relationship with her husband, who was catapulted to international fame while taking credit for her work.
I was aware of this story prior to seeing this film and found it incredibly interesting on several levels. To think that what started out as a seemingly small white lie could grow into something that would sweep the nation and inevitably pave the way for the pop art movement. The story is fundamentally intriguing as it speaks to the societal atmosphere of the time which essentially set the stage for Walter to step into the limelight. You can see Margaret’s inner anguish which is poured out into her paintings, which were unique, beautiful and darkly engaging.
The film does a great job in setting up its plot points which follow Margaret from her early beginnings through to meeting Walter and then dissecting their relationship which began as one thing and slowly devolves into something much different. The narrative is probably best described as a character study, first of and primarily of Walter, and then to a slightly lesser degree of Margaret as her awakening sparks the fire that would bring it all down. I found Big Eyes to be an intelligently crafted film that is part drama, part dark comedy and of course a biopic in every sense.
Stars Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are simply terrific and in my opinion share equal responsibility for the compelling outcome of the film. That is to take nothing away from Tim Burton whose stylistic flair underscores the proceedings.
In addition to Amy Adams, who won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Margaret Keane, Big Eyes was up for two additional Golden Globe nominations including Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical or Comedy and Best Original Song. The film has garnered numerous accolades including an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Screenplay and BAFTA nominations for Best Leading Actress and Best Production Design.
I thoroughly enjoyed Big Eyes not only for its intriguing and interesting true story but for the wonderful performances, excellent screenplay and apt direction that brought the story to the big screen.
The rating is for thematic elements and brief strong language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
Big Eyes comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.
This is pleasing video presentation that boasts plenty of refinement, stable contrast, deeply saturated colors, and strong dimension. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are boldly colorful, film like and perfectly suited for the source material.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range, detail rich clarity and discernible channel separation which enable the detection of subtle nuance within the recording. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel which clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and tonal balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren’t noteworthy but the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to appropriately convey the low level bass associated with the music score/soundtrack.
- (HD) Making of Big Eyes – 21 minute featurette
- (HD) Q&A highlights – 33 minutes
- Digital HD Copy
Based on the real lives of Margaret and Walter Keane Big Eyes is an intriguing and interesting true life drama that features wonderful performances, excellent writing and apt direction. It comes to Blu-ray from Anchor Bay entertainment featuring excellent high definition video crystal clear lossless sound and a light but worthwhile supplemental package. I thoroughly enjoyed Big Eyes and recommend that you give it a spin on Blu-ray
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