Usually to be found around the macabre but strangely compelling creatures, Tim Burton has made a very different sort of film for his latest, Big Eyes. Even Big Fish (2003) had touches of the fantastical, but this is a stylish and completely real life tale.
Big Eyes chronicles the story of Walter and Margaret Keane who became known in the '50s and '60s for crafting one of the first mass-marketed art sensations: their ocularly enhanced horrors were sold in petrol stations and small stores around the US. In a sexist twist reflecting the age, it was Walter alone who became famous for the pictures, parlaying the fiction that he created them into TV talk show stardom. But it was Margaret who did the work, and claimed her share of the profits when she and Walter divorced. To prove her ownership, the judge ordered a paint-off between the pair in court.
Ed Wood (1994) writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander have long been trying to get the film off the ground, with previously developing incarnations seeing Thomas Haden Church (Killer Joe) and Kate Hudson (Bride Wars), and Ryan Reynolds (Buried) and Reese Witherspoon (Mud) briefly attached. In its final form with Adams and Waltz, it also co-stars Danny Huston (Wrath Of The Titans), Jason Schwartzman (Moonrise Kingdom) and Terence Stamp (The Adjustment Bureau), as, respectively, a gossip journalist, a gallery owner and a snobby art critic.
Big Eyes will arrive here on 26 December.