Bur­ton’s Eyes

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FIL REVIEWS - DON­ALD CLARKE

In­deed, the film shares sur­pris­ingly lit­tle DNA with any Bur­ton joints. His di­rec­tion here is un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally re­strained and his most beloved tics and pre­oc­cu­pa­tions are nowhere to be found. Where is the Mis­un­der­stood Teen? Where is HBC? Where is Johnny Depp? Where be monsters?

We do, nonethe­less, get a ter­rific story and a recog­nis­ably Bur­tonesque Blonde In­génue in Amy Adams’ Mar­garet Keane. Adams’s be­liev­abil­ity works to pa­per over the var­i­ous cracks in Scott Alexan­der and Larry Karaszewski’s un­der­pow­ered screen­play. Adams is cred­i­ble even when her lines are thin. and the chaps re­ally have imag­ined that their apoc­a­lyp­tic stom­per would, one day, be­come the ac­com­pa­ni­ment to ev­ery sec­ond cliched montage of the city?

So dull is the film that such ir­rel­e­vant pon­der­ings keep trou­bling the brain. Did Dick Van Dyke, back for a third time, pass his no­to­ri­ous cock­ney ac­cent from Mary Pop­pins on to an un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally hope­less Rebel Wilson? What will Greek au­di­ences make of the an­i­mated El­gin Mar­bles se­quence and the script’s

But Waltz’s bril­liantly os­ten­ta­tious Wal­ter was al­ways des­tined to steal the show. When the Keanes’ ec­cen­tric do­mes­tic tiff turns into a court­room stand-off, Waltz of­fers us some of the best cin­e­matic shenani­gans of 2014.

A crack team of sup­port­ing play­ers helps el­e­vate the ma­te­rial, no­tably Danny Hus­ton’s gossip col­umn hack and Ja­son Schwartz­man’s snooty gallery owner.

The im­pres­sive Ter­ence Stamp re­mains per­ma­nently and hi­lar­i­ously out­raged as John Cana­day, the late New York Times art critic.

Big Eyes opens next week even­tual decision that the Egyp­tian tablet be­longs with its fel­low post-colo­nial cap­tives in Blooms­bury (rather than in, say, Egypt)? What do we make of a film whose best joke in­volves the mis­pro­nun­ci­a­tion of Hugh Jack­man’s name?

They even man­age to bun­gle a glar­ing op­por­tu­nity to bid a poignant farewell to Robin Wil­liams. Okay, that may have been a bit taste­less, but it’s not as if the rest of the film slips past the palate like fine caviar.

Let this be an end to it.

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