A kitschy movie about a very kitschy topic.
If you grew-up in the 60’s there is a strong possibility that you were terrorized by at least one Keane painting. They were horrible, like terrible scarecrows for kids. They served not only as cheap art, but also to remind children that if they were bad they could end-up just like one of these miserable waifs.
When I was younger, I was terrified that I could turn into one of those skinny kids with big eyes and have to drag around an ugly cat in the alleys of Paris, begging for food, if I misbehaved. Those things were scary as hell.
So this movie twists what people thought of the artist a bit; it’s about the fact that Mr. Keane’s wife was secretly the artist and he was a drunken huckster.
Like many Tim Burton movies, this one is marvelously meticulous with an occasional broad stroke of sloppiness: Are you gonna use the device of a narrator or not? Why is one actor (Christoph Waltz) the only person acting like he’s in a musical-comedy? Why is Amy Adams (a terrific actress) so one-note throughout? This may be, at least a little, because Mr. Burton was more fascinated with the performances of the sets and furniture (which are splendid by the way) rather than the actors themselves.
Having said that, the film is interesting enough, setting aside that it’s a little slow in the middle.
I would have liked to have seen more of what was going on with the supporting players with this story. Especially Terence Stamp as the fussy art critic who despises everything the Keanes do and stand for.
I have to admit that I was slightly grateful for the recent break-up of Tim Burton’s marriage. It means I don’t have to endure Helena Bonham Carter in EVERY one of his films. It’s sort of like the residual benefit of Woody Allen splitting with Mia Farrow.
Definitely catch this on cable or on-demand. It’s worth it if you’re someone who sees a lot of movies. It shouldn’t be on the casual filmgoer’s must-see list however.
(Loudinni specializes in reviews that can be read in a minute or less.)
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