Viewed – 25 April 2015 Online rental
I wouldn’t say I have been following the career of acclaimed director Tim Burton all that much of late, having once been a big fan and loving his movies (especially Beetlejuice & Edward Scissorhands), yet his reliance on casting Johnny Depp in everything he does had begun to grate. So it seemed refreshing to see a movie by him that departs from the weird fantastical world he’s known for and yes, no Depp!
This true story tells the tale of a painter in the 1950’s called Margaret Keane who’s paintings of doe-eyed girls became a huge thing even though they were credited as being painted by her husband, Walter Keane. It was a big money-making scam that I can’t say I’ve ever heard of but Burton’s movie tells it in that magical, sugar-coated 50’s style that brings to life an otherwise fairly mundane topic.
Amy Adams is good as Margaret even if I found it hard to sympathise with how she goes along with husband Walter’s plan, and with Christoph Waltz we once again get a very showy and enjoyable turn, even if after seeing this acclaimed actor four times now, it’s becoming clear they’re all slight variations of the same, charming / potentially-dangerous character. Also I found it hard to believe that Margaret’s daughter would be equally duped by the couple’s scheme, considering she had been her mother’s muse prior to meeting Walter. Nit-picks aside, this was still enjoyable and whimsical. Burton’s visual flair, although not as elaborate is still here and the setting, houses, streets, beaches etc. are presented beautifully. Regular collaborator Danny Elfman also deliver’s a suitable, if not particularly memorable score.
For Burton this was a nice diversion, and for Waltz’ growing fan-base, another entertaining performance. Yet along with a plot that get’s very predictable, I found little else to make me recommend this one beyond Sunday afternoon viewing.
Verdict: 3 /5