Let’s face it, we love Christoph Waltz as a bad guy. He’s at his best playing terrifying (Inglourious Basterds, Water for Elephants), or semi-bad guy (Django Unchained); as wonderful an actor as Waltz is, his earnest Qohen Leth fell a little flat because the character was just too damned nice. So, pardon me if my first thought about Tim Burton’s Big Eyes trailer was, “Hey, Christoph has his sexy back.” One, he looks much better with hair and two, his smarmy take on fraudulent artist Walter Keane immediately took me in. It’s an interesting choice for Burton who’s somehow managed to get away from the cartoonish Johnny Depp thing he’s been doing so long, yet still bring the creepy…those eyes. The film tells the true story of Keane and his wife Margaret (Amy Adams), who actually created the big-eyed kid paintings that sold like hotcakes in the 60s. After the Keanes became wealthy and famous, Margaret claimed it was she who had painted the children all along, and the pair’s public feuding went on for years. Big Eyes has great supporting cast in Terence Stamp, Krysten Ritter, Danny Huston and Jason Schwartzman, and though those paintings creep me the fork out, Waltz might just get me past them.
Looks like the Weinsteins are dangling Waltz and Adams as Oscar bait; Big Eyes hits theaters Christmas Day.